Andrew Youderian, Founder of eCommerceFuel, and the Reads that Empowered His Entrepreneurial Spirit
After spending a few years employed in investment banking, Andrew Youderian decided that’s not the path he wants to take and so he chose to quit the corporate world and start his own business. His passion was eCommerce and since he started working on his own, Andrew has built and sold several eCommerce stores which have collectively generated over $7 million in sales. He actually documented one of the sales and it’s a really interesting read if you want to find out more about how this kind of deals take place (first post, seller found, problems in the sales process).
Using his experience with bootstrapping stores to seven figures, business exits, SEO and community building, Andrew launched eCommerceFuel, a community for seven-figure plus eCommerce merchants. Right now, eCommerceFuel has around 1,000 store owners and professionals and also runs a job board to help members find talent for their businesses.
Besides his work on eCommerceFuel, Andrew has also spoken at events on eCommerce and is the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping, a book about how to create and run successful dropshipping businesses.
Other than thoutdoorss living in Montana, enjoys spending time outdoor with his wife and daughters and, of course, reading. He talked to us about what book was perfect when he decided to leave the corporate world, what he read when he was struggling to manage his first employee and what book he recommends for building communities.
What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.
Favorite non-business book is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s science fiction meets adventure meets comedy with a large dose of British humor. My favorite business book is probably the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as it’s helped me focus on the things that really move the needle.
Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?
When I was early on in managing my first full-time employee I read EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. It’s a book about how to be a good, empathetic manager. I was struggling to think through how to structure a compensation package for my new team member and that book helped a lot.
What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)
It’s very cliche, but the 4-Hour Work Week was published in 2007 right when I was leaving the corporate world, and definitely played a role in my starting my own company. The book “Tribes” by Seth Godin has been helpful as I’ve learned and studied how to best lead a Community. And finally, the book “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger reinforced in my the importance of relationships and in-person community, and made it something I’m trying to prioritize more in my life.
What five books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Getting the right things done)
- Entreleadership (Great primer on management)
- Let My People Go Surfing (How to build a business on your terms, that embraces your values)
- Essentialism (The Importance of focus)
- Work the System (A primer on building systems in your business)
I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?
I read probably at least 50% of my books via audiobook, usually when biking/commuting, washing dishes or driving in the car. I try to read non-fiction via audio because I love being able to underline key points from business books to implement, and that’s hard to do via audio.
For business books I usually read them via Kindle, but definitely will read paper if I have it.
How do you make time for reading?
I’m not as good at this as I want to be and will go in spurts. Audiobooks are super helpful as I’m able to read 1-2 books a month just by filling otherwise dead time. Other times I really like to read are right before I go to sleep, so I try when possible to get to bed early so I can spend 15-30 minutes reading.
Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?
Yep! The Kindle has a great underline feature that lets you look at all your highlights in one spot. I try (very imperfectly, however) to summarize my top 5-10 takeaways and quotes from each book I read in a Google Doc for fast scanning/summary in the future.
How do you choose what books to read next?
I use Goodreads and love it. Anytime I hear a book that’s interesting, I’ll add it to my reading list. When I’m ready to read I’ll go in there and sort my list of prospects in descending order by rating. I’ll go through and pick the first one that sounds really compelling. I’ll also sprinkle that in with just-in-time reading, picking topics for something I’m very curious about at the moment or will be implementing in my business.
Do you prioritize the books recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
Nope! I am an equal opportunity book recommendation accepter. 🙂
Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?
I’m currently reading “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence“. I had a friend go through a very powerful experience with Psychedelics and am hoping to better understand the field and what happened to him.
Links where you can follow Andrew Youderian or find out more about his projects:
All books mentioned by Andrew Youderian in this interview:
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches by Dave Ramsey
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
- Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
- Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
- Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman–Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual by Yvon Chouinard
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
- Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter
- How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan