If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. (African proverb)

The Mexico Trip and the groundbreaking EVOLATAM trade show are fast approaching. Doing business in Mexico sounds risky. The news doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the country, which is negatively influenced by news of cartels, violence, and poverty. Yet, Mike Principi can’t stop proclaiming the good that Mexico has to offer.

Mike, like 90% of Italian men around the globe, is tall, dark, and handsome. The 6-figure seller shares with us the value of community, and how surrounding yourself with good people is crucial to improving your business. Contrary to popular belief, Mike has curated – and helped others create – a fulfilling community in Playa del Carmen, an hour’s drive away from Cancun (which will host the Mexico Trip Mastermind in a few days’ time!). “It’s not (just) a business thing,” Mike shares about the community. “(The community is made up of) 6, 7, 8-figure sellers. Really smart, talented guys.” The men and women are there for each other whenever anyone’s stumped with Amazon stuff — but “we were friends, we’d spend time at the beach playing volleyball, having drinks.”

What do volleyball and cocktails have to do with success on Amazon? We have to dive into Mike’s past to uncover the truth. Let’s take a look.

How did you meet Amy? What value has this created in your business?

During the pandemic, Mexico was one of the only countries that remained open. It attracted so many nomads who were disillusioned with constant nagging to shelter in place and observe social distancing. Amazon is such a close-knit business, it’s difficult to stay away from like-minded individuals. If you’re anything like Mike, burn-out beckons shortly after isolation.

So Mike started organizing meet-ups within the digital nomad community, which was growing pretty fast. As luck would have it, both Amy and Amazing At Home’s former Chief Marketing Officer, Baptiste Porzier, were heading down to Cancun. Mike sent over a photo of his seller community, with the invitation to join them for drinks. The rest is history.

L-R: Baptiste Porzier, Director of Business Development at Fortunet; Rashied Wees; Amy Wees; Mike Principi

“I think her group is amazing,” Mike proclaims. He refers of course to Amy’s many Facebook groups, where she drops free content that helps sellers improve their game. Many influencers and thought leaders roam around in the group, and are known to drop incredible value on unsuspecting beginners and experts, alike.

“You hear a lot of BS online to be honest,” Mike sighs. “Who are the good people? Are they trustworthy?” It can definitely be confusing for a starting seller, who desperately needs good information to make informed decisions. The benefit of a community where free knowledge is dispensed by fellow entrepreneurs and thought leaders? It’s untold.

“If I have something to ask because I need information, I ask in Amy’s group. It’s my go-to.” Mike smiles. “Amy messages clients there too, which I think is pretty cool.”

(Are you part of Amy’s Facebook community yet? Here’s a good starting point!)

Mexico doesn’t look very dangerous from this perspective, does it? See if you can spot Mike!

How did you realize you wanted to be in Amazon?

Mike was living his best life in London. He was working in sales for a tech start-up. “I learned a ton of stuff,” he reminisces. “The money was very good. I didn’t mind the job.”

But what changed?

Put it this way.

Tall, dark, and handsome international businessman with wanderlust, enjoys long walks on the (Playa del Carmen) beach, looking to make new friends and expand network.

Kidding aside, Mike’s lucrative career kept him in one city. He was in his late 20s, and life was changing. He had responsibilities – money was a necessity. He couldn’t responsibly pursue the bohemian lifestyle anymore. But he had itchy feet. He had to find a way to combine his love for travel with more practical pursuits. So, in 2018, he started on FBA with a friend of his. “We were beginners. It was doing fairly well.” But eventually, Mike struck out alone. “I loved the branding and marketing side of (the business), so I did private label,” he shares.

It hasn’t just been volleyball and long walks on the beach.

Mike’s had his own share of challenges. It’s not like he launched in 2018 to incredible, immediate success. It has taken failure, lots and lots of failure, to get him to this point in his journey.

He lists the challenges he’s faced:

  1. E-Commerce has grown, so challenges have also grown.
  2. Logistics and supply chain challenges caused by Covid-19: “You need to invest more capital to cover the added costs of delays. Nobody gives you cash for free!”
  3. Juggling everything can be difficult

“Loneliness increases the mental struggle,” Mike admits. “Having a fellow seller you can talk to and meet up with — it really helps.”

Mike’s living his best life thanks to the friendships he’s amassed over the years. Not only does it make life a little more enjoyable, he’s able to grow and learn from collective experiences.

The rewards give off such a rush!

Mike addresses the big aspirations that prospective sellers in the exploratory phase dream about: “When the business starts to take off and net a healthy profit, you start believing in the business model — (you say to yourself) I can make it too, you start seeing the win.”

On a personal level, Mike is grateful for all the connections he’s made. “It’s amazing how much people can achieve if they put their mind to it,” he marvels. “The amount of learning (you get from a community), your network, the friends you have, the mindset switch that you need to make it — (there’s a) huge return, no matter what.”

He remembers the arrogance of the starting seller. “I can do it all by myself? That’s not the right approach to have.” It’s the Superman syndrome. Many entrepreneurs are guilty. But it’s okay to admit that you can’t do everything. It’s good to hire people who are brighter, more talented, more experienced in certain areas than you are. If you’re like Mike, and you excel at marketing and sales, it makes sense to find partners or assistants who can help you with logistics and shipping, for example. It will only boost your business even further. “Rely on the expertise of someone else,” Mike advises. “Small mistakes can cost a lot. Better to give it to the experts.”

Mike is friendly. Mike is part of a community. Be smart. Be like Mike.

If there’s any wisdom this digital nomad can impart as he makes his way towards the 7-figure stamp, it’s to surround yourself with good people. Your vibe attracts your tribe, indeed. Make sure to network with other sellers. Speak to them about your journey. Boost each other up, encourage each other, and grow together.

To the tune of volleyball and margaritas on the Mexican beaches, if you like.

Mike is friendly. Mike meets people. Mike grows. Be smart. Be like Mike.

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