Women Entrepreneurs on Amazon: Growth is the Sweet Spot for this CEO 2017-07-31T15:55:00+00:00

Growth Story: Women Entrepreneurs on Amazon

Growth is the Sweet Spot for this CEO

Client Success Story: Phylicia Chapman

For Phylicia Chapman, whether you’re talking personal development or revenue generation, it’s all about growth right now.

In fourth grade, The Candy Girl managed to get herself elected class president.

The key? Supply and demand.

As a fourth grader, Phylicia Chapman loved candy. And she saw a simple market opportunity: everyone else loved candy too. So, she began stocking up on everyone’s favorite candy and reselling it in the halls. She clearly found product-market fit: Business boomed.

Phylicia had never been the popular girl, but her fledgling business began giving her visibility and a sense of urgency. It won her the votes to become class president, and earned her a few bucks to boot.

Years later, Payability had the pleasure of meeting Phylicia under different circumstances — she reached out to us as part of her quest to improve cash flow and expand her Amazon business.

Payability sat down with Phylicia to talk about sales, her Amazon businesses, personal growth, and yes… candy.

“I’m an owner of a very small business and in the first month of using Payability, my sales on Amazon tripled because I had some fast selling items. Payability allowed me to replenish my inventory more quickly.”
— Phylicia Chapman, CEO, Chapman Global Enterprises

Finding Her Footing as an Entrepreneur Selling on Amazon

Phylicia is the owner of businesses on both Amazon (Chapman Global Enterprises) and on eBay (Granny’s Great Deals). Both are profitable and poised for growth.

But getting there didn’t come easy.

Coming out of school, she began selling a few SKU’s on Amazon from her hometown of Durham, NC. But her sales weren’t cutting it. Her strategy was scattered, and moreover, her mind was in the wrong place — she was making excuses for her failures. She saw too many obstacles; the cards were stacked against her.

Phylicia knew she needed to grow.

So Phylicia bootstrapped herself up. She began to learn the art of personal development. From Tony Robbins to John Assaraf, you name it: Phylicia read it. She began to get her mind organized, stayed motivated, and developed new frameworks for managing herself.

As she began to take a better approach to herself, her businesses followed suit.

” If we have this history behind us — reasons why people say we shouldn’t succeed — it should motivate us to do more. “

Self-Acceptance and Overcoming Hurdles as a Minority Business Leader

When you first meet Phylicia, she impresses you with her understated confidence and quiet charisma. After talking for a few minutes, you begin to see what fuels them: a powerful sense humility and humanity.

In America, we often idolize entrepreneurs (especially those who are succeeding) as living the American dream. But Phylicia doesn’t wear that mantle. She’s so straightforward and accessible, I pause our conversation to tell her how refreshing it is to interview her: someone who expresses doubts, who understands they need to grow, who isn’t 100% confident of all her opinions.

Indeed, self-doubt and self-acceptance have always been a tenuous balance for Phylicia.

Phylicia and I were talking about the hurdles she’s had to overcome, and I asked how being a black woman has affected her personal path and the development of her business.

“I do think about race and gender. I think about it differently than I used to,” Phylicia said. “I used to use it as an excuse. I’d say, ‘I’m automatically going to be discriminated against.’ But the more I got into personal development, I realized being a minority can give us an incentive to do more and be more.

“If we have this history behind us — reasons why people say we shouldn’t succeed — it should motivate us to do more.”

For Phylicia, fighting the hurdle of race and gender inequality has been about flipping the script: using obstacles as fuel for her personal, inner fire. For her, “it’s an advantage and a motivator.”

Still, Phylicia has had to work to accept who she is.

“Online, it’s easy to hide your identity,” she says.”But I can do more more when I put myself out there, let people see my face, make YouTube videos. I didn’t think people would be interested in what I have to say because I’m a black woman in a white world. But I used what I learned in the personal development field to have the self confidence to understand that I had something useful to offer, and people want to hear that.”

By taking the entrepreneurial personality that led her to become The Candy Girl, and doubling down with a gritty, strategic commitment to personal growth, she’s been able to set her businesses on an upward trajectory.

“I’m Gonna Say the Number”

Phylicia continues to be strategic about what skills she wants to cultivate. When asked about growing as a marketer, she gives me pause by saying she’s not interested. She takes a line from one of her copious development gurus, telling me she plans to “hire people who play at my work.”

Attracting the Right Kind of Talent

It’s this kind of balanced approach that’s allowing Phylicia to find more and more success. And she’s found her balanced approach is what enables her to attract more talent.

In 2017, she’s hiring a designer to help with product design, as well as bringing more hands on deck to help with inventory and shipping. Extra help is necessary to help her business grow, and finding it wouldn’t have been as easy without the increasingly visible personality she’s been able to start cultivating.

She attributes being able to build her team to her growing personal brand — a fitting legacy for the one-time Candy Girl.

Using Payability to Grow

Payability has been part of Phylicia’s recipe too. As she’s brought on more resources to help her, she’s had to figure out how to pay them on time.

At first, checks were only written when Amazon payments were paid out to her Seller Account, which meant her people had to wait on Amazon — sometimes for 14 days. Phylicia started looking for a solution to improve cash flow.

When I ask how she found Payability, Phylicia says, “It’s almost like Payability found me.” Phylicia saw an ad for Payability in her Amazon Seller dashboard and signed up. The following day, she was getting instant daily payments on her accounts receivable for her Amazon sales from the day before.

Not only was she able to pay her team on time, sales increased — as much as 3x. As she was able to invest in inventory faster, the needle climbed: Instead of completing a handful of sales a week, she was selling reliably every day and she was able to replenish inventory faster without having to wait for cash.

Using Payability to Grow

Payability has been part of Phylicia’s recipe too. As she’s brought on more resources to help her, she’s had to figure out how to pay them on time.

At first, checks were only written when Amazon payments were paid out to her Seller Account, which meant her people had to wait on Amazon — sometimes for 14 days. Phylicia started looking for a solution to improve cash flow.

When I ask how she found Payability, Phylicia says, “It’s almost like Payability found me.” Phylicia saw an ad for Payability in her Amazon Seller dashboard and signed up. The following day, she was getting instant daily payments on her accounts receivable for her Amazon sales from the day before.

Not only was she able to pay her team on time, sales increased — as much as 3x. As she was able to invest in inventory faster, the needle climbed: Instead of completing a handful of sales a week, she was selling reliably every day and she was able to replenish inventory faster without having to wait for cash.

Growth as an Amazon Seller in 2017

Phylicia says there’s still work to do.

She sees a path ahead where her business turns a corner and gets even more profitable. She doesn’t just want to grow as a person — she cares about financial success. She wants a new car and new home in 2017. And she wants her seller businesses to see step-change growth.

“I’m gonna say the number. Compared to where I am, it sounds ambitious but I know how to do it. It’s just a matter of doing everything that’s required. So my goal for the business in 2017 is $400,000.”

Phylicia isn’t that fourth grade class president anymore. She’s not even The Candy Girl. But with her strategic approach to self-management, her growing, personality-fueled team, and her ability to wield the right management and financial tools, the path ahead looks sweet indeed.

” If we have this history behind us — reasons why people say we shouldn’t succeed — it should motivate us to do more. “
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