009 - Unveiling E-commerce Lessons: Surpassing Limits & Overcoming Challenges

Welcome to another empowering episode of Women Powering E-Commerce! Join me as we delve into the highs and lows of my journey as a female e-commerce entrepreneur. Today, I want to take a moment to reflect on the valuable lessons I learned in the month of June. It's important to look back and gain perspective, extracting life lessons from our experiences. By sharing my takeaways, I hope to inspire and guide you in achieving your own business goals. So, let's dive in!

Welcome to another empowering episode of Women Powering E-Commerce! Join me as we delve into the highs and lows of my journey as a female e-commerce entrepreneur. Today, I want to take a moment to reflect on the valuable lessons I learned in the month of June. It's important to look back and gain perspective, extracting life lessons from our experiences. By sharing my takeaways, I hope to inspire and guide you in achieving your own business goals. So, let's dive in!

Setting Ambitious Goals: Surpassing Expectations

One of the most significant insights I gained in June was the realization that humans are more capable than they give themselves credit for. As time passes, I've come to understand that I possess untapped potential. A prime example of this occurred last month when we were preparing for our quarterly meeting. While setting our ambitious goals for the quarter, the idea of starting a podcast emerged. It was a completely new venture for me, but I felt it aligned with my mission of helping others. Despite initial doubts, I embraced the challenge and set a three-month goal. Surprisingly, I achieved it in just 10 weeks! This experience taught me the importance of setting ambitious goals and the motivation that comes with achieving them. We often underestimate ourselves, but by pushing our boundaries, we can reach greater heights as entrepreneurs.

Perseverance: The Key to Overcoming Challenges

June also reminded me of a vital lesson: as long as you don't quit, it's never over. Throughout my e-commerce journey, I encountered numerous obstacles and faced an unprecedented drop in sales over the past two years. It was a grueling period filled with sleepless nights, stress, and moments of hopelessness. Despite the temptation to give up, I refused to quit. Effort does not always yield immediate results, but I knew there had to be a way out. Despite trying various strategies, including paid ads, changing agencies, seeking mentorship, and even redesigning our website, the situation remained unresolved. However, I stayed focused on the potential of my products and the need they fulfilled in the market. I believed that, with perseverance and creative thinking, we would find a solution.

Uncovering Success: Patience, Resilience, and Creative Problem-Solving

The patience and persistence paid off. Recently, we finally uncovered the recipe for success. It was a game of endurance, but we emerged from the struggles with stable and encouraging results. The feeling of being back on track is incredibly gratifying. This experience taught me that even in the darkest times, there is always a way forward. Sometimes, the tunnel may seem never-ending, but with resilience and creative problem-solving, we can find the exit. Throughout this journey, I realized the importance of remaining patient, seeking support, and harnessing the power of creativity.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Embrace Your Potential and Overcome Challenges

Reflecting on the lessons learned in June has provided me with invaluable insights and inspiration. By sharing my experiences, I hope to encourage and support fellow women entrepreneurs in their e-commerce journeys. Remember, you are more capable than you think, and perseverance in the face of challenges can lead to remarkable breakthroughs. Believe in your potential, stay focused on your goals, and never lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and achieve our business dreams.

Episode Transcription

009 - Unveiling E-commerce Lessons: Surpassing Limits & Overcoming Challenges

Suzie (00:00):
Welcome E-commerce Empresses to this episode of Women Powering E-Commerce. Join me every Tuesday and Thursday as I take you behind the scenes of my journey as a female e-commerce entrepreneur. Together we'll explore the highs, the lows, inspiring you to take action and achieve your own business goals. So let's get started.

Today I want to talk about my June takeaways. I think it's super important to look forward, learn and try new things, but I feel it's equally as important, if not more, to take some time to wind down and look back at what we learned. Put things into perspective, see what life lessons we can try and extract from our experiences. So that's what I want to do once a month, share with you my takeaways of the last past month, and we'll see where it leads us. I want to look back on my past month and reflect on what I learned. In the end, I think it'll help me grow and not only grow, but much faster as an entrepreneur. And I want to share with you all of that in the hopes that it serves you as well. So let's see where it takes us.

Number one thing I learned in June is that humans are more capable than they think. As time goes by, I'm realizing that I'm much more capable than I think I was. And one good example of that happened in the month of June. One thing that led me to think that is that when we were preparing our quarterly meeting for Q2, we usually set our big goals for the quarter. And one thing that came up is, "Well, Suzie..." I was telling that to myself, "Why don't you just go ahead and do a podcast?" Honestly, I've never thought of doing a podcast before, but I've had this mission of helping others in the last couple of months, so I thought this was a great way to get this started and it would help in all kinds of ways as well. So it was an ambitious goal and knowing the person I was before, because now I'm growing into, not someone else, I'm staying me, but I'm developing other qualities.

Now I am learning to set more ambitious goals and actually achieve them. It's definitely a discipline that needs to be learned, but I'm loving it because it's so much more motivating. If you set yourself only tiny girl goals, then you get tiny rewards. If you set yourself bigger goals, well then the bigger rewards will come in. So I was actually able to achieve it in under three months. I thought it would take me a year, first things first, and it didn't. I set myself a three-month goal and I actually did it in 10 weeks, which is under three months. So it wasn't perfect, but I just did it and it still isn't. I'm still learning, and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with it being not perfect. I see all kinds of things that can be improved and I'm fine with that. I'll learn as we go.

So that was definitely something I learned. We are capable of so much more than we think we are. We often underestimate what we can do. And that was a good reminder for me. Definitely very important to set higher goals at times. Another thing that I learned is, as long as you don't quit, it's not over. Okay. This is a big one. This is a very big one. And I'll reserve this story actually for one or several other episodes, because there's a lot to unpack honestly about my e-commerce and the struggles we've had in the last couple of years. I'm not even saying months. We can talk about years. Yes, it was that long. But I'll still update you today on what I learned in June about the struggle. And then we can talk a little bit more about what happened in a few other episodes.

So here it is in its raw form, my e-commerce, until very recently, I would say, for the last almost two years. Yes. So for a long time, it had its toll of hardships, and I would say really, really big obstacles. Nothing I've seen up until now, until the last 10 years. I've been in business and I've had my e-commerce for about 10 years. Yes. So this was the first time I was faced in front of something so big. And the results of all of those obstacles were a really major drop in sales. So we're talking about 40%, if not 50. So it really was not easy. And we tried everything and anything under the sky, honestly, everything we were trying to think about to fix this issue. And the reason why we were trying so many things is we had no clue.

We had some ideas of what would have initiated and caused this drop. And yes, it is several things together, but we just learned recently what it was. And it was nothing we thought it would be. But I'll reserve that little suspense for it later. But I've tried everything. We tried paid ads, putting in more. It was like putting money into a bucket with huge holes. The ROI, the return on investment was not good. So we kind of put that aside. We thought maybe it was our agencies that we were working with not doing well, so we changed agencies. That was not the issue. And I even decided to take up a mentor. I'm like, "Maybe there are some things like when you don't know, you don't know." Well, that can be a problem. So I'm like, "Okay, I'll take a mentor. I'll pay the money, that's fine with me." And I did that for several months, and it was very valuable, but not enough to fix the issue I wanted to fix.

We even changed websites. So when I say everything you could think of, and that's only part of it, there's so much more. We tried everything. And even though we were putting so much effort into fixing it, I realized one thing is that efforts do not equal results. Efforts do not equal results. It was easy, as you can imagine at that point, to just look at the exit door and at least imagine that that could be the best possible solution at that moment. But we'll deep dive into that later. But I wanted to quit so many times, let me tell you, so many times. And the reason for that is just because I saw no way out. Usually, when we want to quit, we're having an issue and we don't see any way out. And that's what was happening to me.

And I can't even imagine the number of times I felt hopeless, that I cried. I didn't sleep well or didn't sleep at all, felt stressed. It was not a fun ride, but I didn't quit. That's the most important point, and I'm very, very proud of that. Many would have, let me tell you, I'm sure. So I did not. And I think owning a business has a lot of good parts, and it's so much fun on so many levels, but it's also not for the faint of heart when you're in the middle of war, especially. So that's when you realize it. And you have to learn to see beyond those obstacles. Even the ones that seem impossible to surmount. That's definitely something you have to learn because obstacles will come your way, small and big. But there's always a way.

That's really something I learned. There's always a way, and I stayed focused. I envisioned what would be possible on the other side, and that helped. Keeping that vision alive as to what you know the potential of your business can have, will help you. Well, at least it helped me really go over everything that happened. And one thing also I concentrated on is I knew the potential that my products had. We have high quality products. We know our customers, we know the need. For having spoke to so many customers, there's definitely a gap in the market right now of people begging and really wanting natural. We're in the natural products industry for pets. So there's not a lot of competitors out there, but there's this really big need. Customers don't have a lot of options.

So I knew that there was a need. We were market fit. You take a look at the market research reports, and it's a growing industry. It's a billion-dollar industry. So I mean, our place was definitely there. So I knew it was just that we needed to find the solution. But there was one, there was definitely one, we just needed to move with the cheese. I'm referring to the book Who Moved My Cheese. In case you didn't read it, go read that. Very important.

And I saw my team as well. I didn't want to give up on them. I wanted to do it for them as well. So I didn't quit. And I'm glad I did all of that because finally we found our way out of the water just recently. And we found the recipe that we were looking for and not so long ago. So it was really a patience game. It was really that. And now the results are stable and oh so encouraging. I am a happy camper. So we are back on track, and it feels so good to be saying those words right now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the tunnel is very long, but in the end, a tunnel has two ways, one way in, one way out, usually. So, that's it.

So again, sometimes you just have to be very, very patient and creative. You have to really use your creative mind. And if you can't think of anything, I went and found some support. My husband was a great help in helping the business. We love to help each other out in our businesses, so we all have our strengths. So we try to use our strengths everywhere we can. But there's always a solution.

So those are my top two takeaways for the month of June. They're pretty big. They're pretty good for me, and I hope you'll feel maybe understood with what I shared, and maybe it'll help you in your own e-commerce journey. So that's it for today. Take a moment to rate this episode or podcast as a whole. Your support is definitely crucial in making this podcast a success. But not only that, to help inspire other women entrepreneurs.

Thank you for being part of this journey with me. I hope you gained valuable insights and inspiration today to keep growing and taking action towards your goals. Please follow me on social media. Also, follow us on your favorite podcast platform to get notifications every time a new episode is uploaded. See you next time.