I really wanted an Amazon FBA mentor when I first got started selling on Amazon.
An Amazon mentor can teach you the steps to become a professional Amazon seller at a deeper level than most courses can, because mentors are usually coaches who offer some form of direct contact and/or personalized mentoring. This enables you to get help with your individual needs and goals.
To me that seemed like the quick way to success. An Amazon mentor can teach you exactly what you want - and need - to know, usually without the fluff that some courses can sometimes have.
The reality is that when it's a one on one situation, there's nowhere for the coach to hide, there's no group-learning, one size fits all approach; it's just you and your sales mentor (let's face it, the goal is to make sales) looking at your results. That's a level of accountability that you cannot get in a group setting, even if it's still a mentor program of some sort.
Direct access to an expert can really help you understand the topic you’re trying to master at a deeper level, as well as shortcut your learning curve significantly.
Here's what I'm saying...
Mentors are experts in the subject they coach (or at least they should be). That means, a reputable FBA coach has experience. Experience, as we all know, is generally made up of failures and successes. And, as I always say, the lessons are in the failures.
With a training course, on the other hand, you generally get just the knowledge. But the fact is that knowledge alone is sometimes not enough. If it was, then there would be no need for support, and we all know that’s not quite how it works.
This means everybody is applying knowledge but still encountering issues. Moreover, the problems people encounter when it comes to Amazon FBA are many and varied, so you can’t always pre-empt them.
Mentoring bridges the gap; it gives you access to both knowledge and experience, even if it's somebody else's experience. But that's exactly what we want: why bet your own money and guess your way when you can learn from somebody else's successes and failures!.
Mentoring hits the sweet spot. It's where experience complements knowledge, and experience is what helps you avoid the traps that cost you time and money, or at least a lot of them.
For example, if I say you can ride a bike by pedalling, I’m imparting knowledge. If I could coach you, however, I could show you just how hard to pedal in order to stop you from toppling over and hitting the ground with a spectacular thud.
Removing experience from knowledge often means having to apply the knowledge and then figure out the issues that may arise as you go.
Having access to somebody who knows what they're doing, who can answer your questions directly, guide you through your individual issues, and, more importantly, reveal the issues you may be heading toward, can be priceless, especially when you factor in the time cost + the opportunity cost.
For example, when I started my first company with two friends, we all had experience working for other companies and dealing with client as well as suppliers, so we all understood business to a degree. We had knowledge.
What nobody had ever told us was that growing too fast can – and often does - kill a business. We didn’t even know that was ‘a thing’.
We began to grow fast after our first year and soon burned through our resources. So much so in fact that we all had to forego our salaries for an entire year, just like when we had started out. In a matter of days, we went from what we had thought was a thriving business to working for no pay.
A financial adviser explained to us at that point why growth has to be controlled and why companies go bust when they grow too fast. He'd seen companies go to the wall countless times over the years. He had experience. Had this adviser been our business coach, he could have stepped in at the start of our growth spike, educated us on what was about to happen, and guided us as we changed the path of the company to avoid failure.
That’s what an Amazon FBA mentor can do for you. Having access to experience, as well as knowledge, can be a game changer.
But mentors don’t usually come cheap, and that means we can’t all hire them for our projects when we want to.
Which prompts the following question:
Mentoring is obviously the ideal choice, but budget often dictates what we can and cannot do. You could save up of course, and hire a mentor when you can afford it, but it’s worth considering other things as well as cost to see if it really is worth having that level of personalized guidance.
Let’s be realistic: a good mentor is not going to be cheap. Also, let’s face it, if you’re going to get a mentor, you want the best mentor you can afford. If you can afford it, then great. But for many, that may mean breaking into savings or ‘emergency money’, or even saving for some time.
The tough answer there is that if you can’t afford a mentor, you can’t afford one. Period. I’d like a Lambo, but I can’t afford one, so I can’t have one.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t drive a decent car. I can always settle for an alternative. The alternative in this case is an Amazon FBA course, and I’ll talk about that in a moment.
I want to ask you a question: why do you want a mentor?
Most people would answer that they want to be a successful Amazon seller. The fact is that we often think that having a mentor guiding us, means we can be successful faster.
Well, here’s the thing…
Your success on Amazon (or anywhere else) is not guaranteed, even with a mentor. In fact, your would-be mentor may have found success on Amazon, but can he or she replicate that success over an over? Can they pick perfect products to sell on Amazon every single time?
The answer is sometimes going to be no. And if they can’t do it for themselves, then they certainly can’t do it for you.
A successful mentor can guide you through a lot and can shortcut your learning curve faster than anything else can. But a mentor cannot guarantee success. If you whole reason for hiring a mentor is to be successful, then that may give you something to consider.
So let’s talk about the only viable alternative…
An FBA training program is a good alternative to having an Amazon mentor, especially if you don’t have the budget for the latter. However, a course typically gets you the knowledge only, rather than the hand holding you get from a coach. The aim then, if you’re considering a mentor but can’t afford one, is to find the best Amazon FBA course we can, one that gets you as close to mentorship as possible.
One such course exits. There may be others, of course, but training programs like this one are few and far between. The Amazing Selling Machine is a video training program that comes with life time access as well as support from mentors.
The support is provided via a forum, so it’s not quite the same as personal one on one coaching, but it does mean you can get your individual questions answered by mentors with experience.
With a good FBA mentor you can get a depth of knowledge that goes beyond what you may learn in most Amazon courses. This, together with the mentor’s own experience can provide you with the tools to significantly shortcut your journey and learning curve.
However, having a mentor, aside from all the associated benefits, does not guarantee success and can be expensive.
If you cannot afford a mentor, an FBA training course may be a good alternative. Just don’t make the mistake of going for the cheapest course you can find, especially if the aim is to find a viable alternative to having a mentor. Instead, get the best you can afford.
In an ideal world, we’d all have mentors for every endeavour we undertake. Wouldn’t that be great? But that’s not always possible, and if that’s the case, then we need to invest in the best education we can find if we really want to maximize our potential.
My recommended FBA course is ASM, as that provides you with top quality training, knowledge, and also gives you access to a team of mentors who can answer your individual questions.