How Did Drop Ship Formula Start And Who Is Simon Vernon?

interview
 

In this video, Simon talks to one our the members of Drop Ship Formula Ben in an interview at one of our meetups in Birmingham. They talk about how Drop Ship Formula got started, what is high-ticket drop shipping and what's inside the program.


Transcript: 

Ben: Okay, first question.

Simon Vernon: Yes

Ben: So how did you first find out about drop shipping?

Simon Vernon: Wow, that is a good question, Ben, because that takes me back. I could give you a long story. I could give you the short story.

Ben: Go from medium, go from medium.

Simon Vernon: Okay, I worked in the corporate world back in what? I mean, I started back in 2003, 2004 and I got disillusioned. With working for the corporate man, working for the man. Yes, I worked for a large corporate company, Dell, and literally I was a number and I decided to leave that job and explore the world and I went traveling and I liked it so much. I wanted to stay out there and explore the world, but I wanted to make money, right because I was spending all my savings. Money was going down in the bank and it was either. Right, okay. You have to return, get a job, or find another way to make money. So medium story is I set up kind of a, a web agency, where I signed up with freelancer oDesk, or is it Upwork now? I forget which one it is nowadays, and I used to get work on these platforms and then outsourced it to other freelancers and making money by managing projects. Which led me to realize that I had created my old job because in the corporate world that did product, project management, implemented systems, putting systems in place.

So, I thought, well, this is not right for me. There must be a better way, a more passive way to make money online. And I started to search, and I thought, well, I don't want inventory. You know, I don't want to have staff cause that's what I had. I had staff people working for me. I want something that allows me to be able to walk away and take a holiday. And I found drop shipping. That's how I first came across it. The business model of drop shipping, right? Because that's all it is. It's a fulfillment model, right. Drop shipping in its purest form. You get a customer; you sell that customer product, and you ask your supplier to deliver that product and you never touch it. I thought that, that's perfect for me. That's what I want. I don't want anything where I have to handle stock. I don't want staff. I want to be able to manage this in a different time zone. So, I learned about the model, started researching, and I came across a course in America called Drop Ship Lifestyle, right? Quite big course, successful course and through that course. I started on my path to learning drop shipping. You know, as to what it's become today. Is that medium?

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Good

Ben: How many stores did you have before you found the store that gave your success?

Simon Vernon: How many failures did I have?

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: A lifetime full. Store wise drops shipping wise, two failures before I found some success. Some success. Right? I've been speaking about this today in the meetup. Craig was talking to me about it, right? The first failure that had, I put it down more to inexperience, my inexperience My, naivety. I didn't really know how to talk to suppliers, right? Get a good price, you know, get good deals on stuff. Find out. What was new, you know, I was nervous. Something that was new to me. It wasn't a field that I was used to. I was used to being sat behind a screen, you know, techie world, managing techies, but not dealing with suppliers and that kind of stuff. So, the first couple I failed because of those things, because I was learning, you know, it was my test environment, let's say my beta's, I had to go through these failures to actually get somewhere. So, two failures that I think if I went back now, especially to the first one, I think I could probably make that a better success than ever made it the first time because of the hindsight, because of the lessons I've learned because of the experience that I have now that I didn't have then.

Ben: If there's one thing in particular, what would it be that you would change?

Simon Vernon: My attitude to failure.

Ben: Yes, I thought you'd say that.

Simon Vernon: My attitude to failure, yes, because that was something that I've not really experienced all that much. Okay, I've had failures, we all make mistakes in life, right? We all do things wrong, but in a business aspect, you're always cushioned by it. You're always in a safe place if you mess up in a workplace because you always have someone above you, unless you're at the top of the chain, right? Someone else is going to have to take the flag. Okay say, I messed up. Right. Okay, let's sort it out by doing this, this, and this. But when you're by yourself and you mess up, it seems, or it felt, you know, 10 times worse.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: It's like, oh man, I really messed up. What am I doing? I don't even want to tell my friends and my family that I've messed this up cause they're going to think, well, why are you working on the internet? Why are you trying to do this kind of stuff? Right?

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: So back then, failure was more difficult to take, personally I took it personal.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Right, whereas I shouldn't, I don't know. I take failure now as a learning, a step, because you have to go through those failures before you get any traction.

Ben: I feel I'm kind of transitioning at the moment. I'm at that point where I've had those failures and your motivation goes like that and it's so tiring, you know, just going through that and then you sort of question yourself. You're like, should I be doing this? Should I get a normal job? And then, I'm slowly getting to that point where it's just like, just keep your head down. Just carry on going. Surely something's going to happen.

Simon Vernon: The universe works in a very funny way, I find. Once you decide on something, once you decide on something that you want to do and that’s your goal, right. The universe, let's call it whatever you believe in. We'll put something in your way and say, are you sure? Take every roadblock. Take every problem, take every challenge as the world or God or whatever you believe in saying, you sure you want to do that, I'm going to stop you. Right and a lot of people just think, oh, okay, I'll turn back. Well, the trick or the secret is to go, navigate those roadblocks, stop. Look at why you're getting stuck. Look at why you feel like you can't do this. Is it a lack of ability, a lack of experience, a lack of skills and address that! And once you addressed that, what's missing. You can get past that stumbling block and then if it happens again, you're more well-armed on it.

Ben: Yes, I totally agree that seems to be lacking in the forums. You see lots of drop shipping forums and they gets that first roadblock and instead of trying to get around the roadblock. They just say, oh, drop shipping saturated! Which doesn't even make any sense.

Simon Vernon: Yes

Ben: And they say that it just can't be done, can't be done in the UK and we hear that one a lot. Don't we?

Simon Vernon: Positive, it’s not just Drop Shipping, it's life in general, isn't it? Not just the drop shipping that you have to think about these issues. You know, just had this conversation with Craig again, you know, if you think about anything that you might want to learn or try, let’s say you want to go fishing. You don't just put the fishing line out, don't catch anything and think, okay, I'll go home now, I can't do this. No, right, you try again. You try different techniques or different equipment or different baits or whatever until you get a bite, until you get a catch, until you get a fish. Great. Then what? Right? And it's the same sort of thing.

You just don't, you know, you don't see, you don't think David Beckham's going to get a football, you know, start kicking it around and oh, I've missed or oh, I've messed up! I best give up now and go home. No, if you ever read anything about David Beckham, you'll see that he was the one that after hours, practicing free kicks, practicing curving the ball, practicing with his left foot. And it's the same in business. And the business model that we're in, drop shipping, it is the same. You keep doing it, keep doing it until you get good at it, the start of everything you're going to suck. You're going to be not that great at it.

Ben: Okay, so you had a successful store, you were doing quite well.

Simon Vernon: Yes

Ben: And then you decided to start teaching and create a course. What made you want to go over to teaching and leave the store?

Simon Vernon: More of a natural progression Ben, for me personally. Drop shipping has such a low barrier to entry. When I say that is it doesn't take a great deal of money. Equity, right? You don't have to hold stock. Right? You're not buying any inventory. You're not keeping a load of stock. You're not renting a shop. There's no electricity and gas, so it's got a low barrier to entry. A lot of people can enter into it, and it's becoming very popular with the likes of Shopify. So, for me personally drop shipping was always, a kind of a steppingstone to something else. Something bigger that had a bigger and more difficult entry point.

Ben: Right

Simon Vernon: And this goes back to my past, my personal past, hopefully that doesn't interfere too much with the mic. Back in 1999, 2000, I had a job teaching, not in a school. Not in mainstream education, but private. So, I worked for a private IT company in my hometown, and I was teaching basic computers, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, that kind of stuff, you know? And I loved it! It was something that came naturally to me, and it was something that I really enjoy it at the time.

I mean, not working for another company doing it, but the actual process of me taking in information that's complex, that's difficult processing it, putting it down in a more palatable way and presenting that to other people. I thought it was great. I thought I can, this is not difficult for me. I can do this really well. So, after getting involved in drop shipping, having some success, having further success, getting to a point where, right, okay, what do I want to do next? I decided, I thought, let's get back into teaching because I did coaching as well. So, this is something I've missed out on my journey through drop shipping. I actually was a coach for Drop Ship Lifestyle, so I coached a lot of members I thought other members.

Ben: Coached me a few times.

Simon Vernon: Coached you a few times and others. But the process of coaching is not the best way to learn. This is what I learned when I was an IT teacher but back in 2000, you know, we had people come in once a week for half an hour or an hour. And yourself half an hour coaching. It's not enough to learn something that's complex. Half an hour here, right? These people will come in every week, so they'd come for half an hour or an hour and then they wouldn't come again till the next week. And it was like, they would spend the first quarter of that next week trying to remember what they did the previous week and the same happened with the coaching. I had these people come in from the UK.

I was trying to help them, but it was so difficult in such a short space of time. So, after I figured things out, after I found out that yes, this can be done in the UK. Okay, it can't be done the same way as these American courses are teaching. Right, maybe I'll go back to what I was doing before, I actually, another story is when I was, I can't remember what age I was. Probably twenties no, maybe I was in my early thirties, excuse me. A friend of the family interviewed me for their dissertation, and they were doing about career progression, excuse me. And, in that interview always strikes me as that. I said in that interview, it just came out. That I love teaching. I loved the pedology, you know, the whole art of taking information in and passing it on and in the future, I want to get back to it. That was something that I said, and that was my 100% authentic self-saying that.

Ben: Right

Simon Vernon: So, that's always been there since way back.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Right, 19 years ago or thereabouts, I've always wanted to get back to that original thing that I did. So, for me, it's like I said at the start, it's a natural progression for me to get into something that I am passionate about, yes.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: And be able to take in a complex subject, like drop shipping and traffic and stuff. Reframe that. Put that into a constructive and more palatable way and pass that onto people, and that is what I wake up for everyday now. That's the something, that goal. Being able to make that a success, gives me a better feeling than actually building a store, I enjoyed the store building, and it was great building that, but for me, my personal goal now is to help others realize their potential because it's not just about business is it? It's not just about drop shipping but realize their potential.

Realize that failure is not a bad thing and realize that success can be difficult, but it's achievable for everybody. Especially now. Think about this country that we live in the UK. All right, we've got Brexit looming. We've got all these fears that are being thrown at us, right? So what? Ignore the noise. We live in a country of immense opportunity. Right? There's a lot of people that would love to live in this country and have the same opportunities as us. So, living in this country, we've got all these opportunities in front of us. Why are you not taking them? Why are you not taking advantage of all these opportunities that you've got and making it work? And I want to show people that it can be done.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Rather than, I don't know, thinking about going on the rock and roll as used to call it. The dole, benefits! Sorry. When I was a technical lead in my old job for Dell, you know, we used to say, you know, you can generally teach a chimp IT skills, but the job of supporting, because that's what it was, IT support, right? Implementation, it's human. It's not about the people that weren't great at the job were the geeky ones that just wanted to geek out on the computers. Right and people get, they get sidetracked by that.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Oh great, I can run ads. I can do this. I can do that. Isn’t this great all these little tools?

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: That's the easy part, learning the tools. The difficult part is getting over yourself and believing in yourself and pushing yourself and getting up every morning and getting past failures and stuff like that. That's the bit that excites me more than anything, I'm getting excited about now! As you probably tell.

Ben: Yes, I can see it.

Simon Vernon: Yes

Ben: So, Si, could you go into detail about your course DSF? And just tell us what it covers?

Simon Vernon: It takes anyone. When I say anyone, I mean, anyone with no experience. So, the course itself is designed for anyone that wishes to build a drop shipping business in the UK cause it's UK specific, right? Without any prior knowledge of marketing or traffic. And I've designed it in a way that takes you through a path from start to finish, from not having a niche. So not knowing what products or what area of products you want to sell something in to building a store, to contacting suppliers, getting suppliers on board, real UK suppliers, not talking about anything to do with China here. And being able to run advertising and start and make sales so that's kind of the journey path, right? It's split up into eight modules, plus some bonus modules of other content as well that I've got.

But the structure of it is to take you through that path. Kind of lead you by the hand, but give you enough skills, give you enough information so that you can get the experience. And by the end of it you can start on free-think, you can start and be more autonomous and not have to rely on me to give you the information. There's no shortcuts. There's no, upsells at the end. I'm giving you everything that you need, right, without saying, okay, you get to this point, but if you want some more, you're going to have to pay me a bit extra. Okay, well, yes, we'll do some advanced stuff, but the essence of the course is no experience in marketing, working online, selling and all those kinds of things. And I'll take you through the whole shebang.

Ben: And we've got two more modules left coming out, right?

Simon Vernon: Yes

Ben: Could you go through the modules briefly?

Simon Vernon: Yes, module one is the finding your niche.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: So, you know, a niche being a subset of a general market. You know, we're not looking to sell. We're not looking to be the next Amazon, right? We're not looking to sell everything across every product category. We're looking to find a specific category where we can specialize then become an authority.

Ben: Chandeliers, for example.

Simon Vernon: Chandeliers, for example. It's in the course, yes, Ben. You know, sell that one type of product. Be the one stop shop, be the place where, okay, if I want the chandelier, I'm going to buy it from a chandelier specialist because I'm going to go to chandelier's boutique.co.uk and buy my chandelier because they sell chandeliers. So, they must know. They must be the authority of where I get my chandelier. So, module one does that. Module two is kind of building a website. Get you started with building a base website, a dummy website to lead you into module three. Module three is finding suppliers, finding UK local suppliers, quality suppliers with quality products. None of the cheaper products none of the China kind of stuff, Alibaba, nope we don't do that. No selling on other marketplaces eBay, Amazon. We're building our own store. So, module two is building that store to take to suppliers and say, look, I want to sell your products. This is my website. This is how your product might look, right? Give them a bit of an impression of your website and you as a retailer because that's what you're going to be.

You're going to be a retailer and present yourself professionally in a way that makes them think, okay, I can work with you and create a relationship. Then we go on to module four, which is, you know, making the site a lot better. Optimizing a few things, making the site look more like a real retail website. Five, optimizations, so how to plug in other things like email for remarketing, how to build trust, how to get people to buy from you. And then modules six, seven, I'm all about traffic so how to run advertising, real targeted advertising. Not Facebook ads, Google ads, Bing ads, that kind of stuff. Yes, and then the final module eight is how to get more traffic, how to use other sources apart from paid traffic or the sources of paid traffic that we can use. As I say, from start to finish, all those things, yes.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: What I've found with the course is, especially in module six, seven, we've got seven yet. We have got six. It starts to bring so much information. There's like so much stuff. It's all the other stuff I guess was covered in the previous course I was doing. So, there's bits and bobs that I kind of knew and there's like bits, elements I kind of understood and…

Simon Vernon: Yes

Ben: But this, the bit when it gets into marketing. That's where it gets really heavy and it's taken me like I've keep on going through the videos because there's so much information in there. I can't retain it all. I got to keep on going back. I be like, okay, what was that about again? I go back and I'm just trying to get it all into my store of course.

Simon Vernon: Yes, there's a learning element, right? Learning new skills, but then you've got to put them into practice haven't you. Otherwise, you know, they might not solidify and those things. So, yes, it takes some time and it do take you into some advanced stuff. I should probably, you know, perhaps for yourself, some of it can be heavy.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: But hopefully I've done my job right. I've broken it down enough.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: And instructed it in enough way that it's more palatable.

Ben: Oh, definitely, yes.

Simon Vernon: Oh, good.

Ben: Okay, what's the most common reason you see people fail?

Simon Vernon: Wow, good question. The most common reason probably leads back to what I said, right. Failure, right. Failure is one, the fear of failure. Okay, life gets in the way. I understand that people sign up to courses. I'm included in this, right? I'll start a course. I'll be all excited and then I'll dwindle off it. So, fear of failure and the motivation. Their motivation, the belief in themselves that they can get through failures is probably the biggest thing. We all do it. We all make excuses in our heads, right? So, mastering what's in here. If you set a goal, if you're determined to do something, you will do it no matter what. But if you don't set that goal and if you don't know beforehand that on that path, there's going to be roadblocks. There's going to be things that you are s**t at. I'm going to say it. We're okay to say that on YouTube? s**t, just beep it then. There is things that you're going to suck at, you know, you're going to be s**t at things. But knowing that ahead of time, preparing yourself and being ready for obstacles, is the best way forward. So, the most common thing is just applying yourself. Whether that's fear of failure, whether it's lack of skills, lack of experience or whatever.

Ben: For somebody who wants to start drop shipping in the UK what are three tips would you give them to get started?

Simon Vernon: Three tips. I guess it leads back to what I've just said, know ahead of time that there's going to be failures. I don’t suppose you got any paper. It's just really easy to illustrate the, what I wanted to illustrate, I'll show this to the camera in a second, is a little bit of a graph, right? So, if we call this success and we call this time, right? So, we've got a graph, time, success. If you're starting here, right? Zero and your aim is to get here to get to success. From my experience, the path to success goes a little bit like this. Hopefully, you can see that, right? So, for a long time you are going to see little success. That's just the way it works. Right? And along this path. I can't remember where I've seen this from. I've seen this from somewhere else. I can't claim this, but when I saw it, I was like, that makes complete, utter sense. Along this path, there's going to be obstacles and lots of them. Yes, you are going to get obstacles all along the way, and what a lot of people will do is they'll start out and be all excited and they'll come across the first roadblock and then give up. Right, they will. Sad face. Give up! right.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: But if you know ahead of time that your route to success is going to start out long, laborious, you're going to have to do some really sh***y work. You're going to have to do all the cra**y tasks that no one else wants to do.

Ben: I can a test to that.

Simon Vernon: Yes, like uploading products!

Ben: Oh yes.

Simon Vernon: Up here, you can get a VA. But right now, you're doing it all yourself. A lot of people think, oh, I'm not doing this. I don't want to do that. But why should I be doing this? That's difficult. Oh, I've got to do that forever. No, you’re not going to do it forever. You're doing it at the start, right? So, a lot of people give up here not knowing that if they keep going, they will get some success and that success generally, when you get to some point out here, just kind of goes whump!

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: And it all comes at once things start to, all the roadblocks that you had here, all the things that you found difficult, all things that you were like, I can't do this. Make all these seem like nothing. I've done that before. That's happened to me before. I'm not saying you don't get any more problems. You're going to get other problems up here.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Different problems. They're not going to go away.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Issues and problems don't go away, but this is where people give up. So, the biggest takeaway is know ahead of time. There's going to be issues, problems. You're going to be s**t at things. You're going to suck at things but keep working at it and you'll get past it, you'll get through it. And you can do it, simple as that.

Ben: Okay, so that was one tip.

Simon Vernon: You know, other tips is, is you got to be resourceful. A lot of people just jump into Facebook groups or jump in and ask the most mundane basics of questions that, you know. You could just go to Google and type it in and find out. You know, how do I set up shipping? So, it only delivers to UK. You don't learn how to do it, you know? It’s a basic tasks. If you're not on a course, obviously I'm teaching these things in my course, but you've got to be resourceful in business and in life in general, and people don't believe in the fact that they got a free thing, they think everything should be delivered on a plate.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: And next week they're going to be a millionaire.

Ben: Yes, that’s it, yes.

Simon Vernon: And don’t know do any work, yes. But three is, you know, make contacts. Get around people. That's the whole point of me doing this meetup today is for me to meet people that are interested in what I've been through. And I've said to you before I ain't no guru! I'm not a guru! Should get a t-shirt. Right? I'm not a guru. I'm not sure where I’ve seen that either, yes, it is a Russell Brunson thing. I'm just in front of you. I'm just ahead of you. I've just got experience in this one thing more than you, but there might be other things that you've got more experienced in than me, right? So, meeting people, making connections, and making a network will also help you because other people can be your sounding board because I'm struggling with this, and they'll say, yes, I struggled with that. Oh, I'm not my own then.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: You had to go through all this. It's not just me. Yes, I'm sure you can relate to that, right?

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Being in the mastermind calls and having coaching calls and stuff.

Ben: Yes, it's pretty crazy how just knowing somebody else has gone through it, can just help you. All that will change is, you know somebody has gone through it and then you have that motivation. Whereas before, sometimes you might be like, oh, maybe I should give up. Maybe this doesn't work in the UK. And then someone's like, oh yes, that and I've done this and this. And it's like, oh, okay.

Simon Vernon: Before me, Ben, that told me! When I joined up for drop ship lifestyle. The American course, this doesn't work in the UK.

Ben: Yes

Simon Vernon: Why? I've tried it, it doesn't work. Okay, but you tried it once. What if you tried twice then? What if you don't do the products that you did? What if you change your advertising? What if you change the criteria for the products that you sell? Is it possible then, it speaks for itself? Yes.

Drop Ship Formula is the only training program of its kind that not only shows you exactly how to create and market your high-ticket dropshipping business here in the UK, but how to get it and your niche products in front of buyer ready customers from day one.

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