Having a “TO DO” list is a long time productivity tool. Keep in mind that WHAT you put on the list is more important than anything else. Spend some quality mental time creating a doable daily list. Don’t forget to delegate or eliminate items that are not important. What you choose to spend your time on daily will define where you go and what you do over the long term.
In case you haven’t noticed, our world is changing at lightening speed. You hold more computing power and more data in the palm of your hand (even if your phone is years old) than the President of the United States had in the Oval Office just 15 years ago.
There is no reason, no excuse in the world, for you not to be earning extra money online!
The fact that you are reading this means you are online right now. Almost everyone in our country has access to the internet in 2015. Furthermore, the internet is getting more globally accessible every single day. 250 million additional people will get online this year. You read that right, 250 MILLION people! Can you imagine the impact? The additional markets? The additional ideas and potential customers?
When will you join the thousands of entrepreneurs who make money online?
It isn’t expensive to start. If you are reading this on your own computer, you already own everything you need.
If you are intimidated by the mechanics of how to get online and figure out Amazon or eBay, the information is right on that computer and it is FREE. Just google “how to sell on eBay” or “how to start an Amazon business,” and you will find a lifetime of information. It won’t take you a lifetime, though, to learn. A few hours of reading or watching videos and you are out the door running.
What to sell? Well, believe it or not, that part is easy. Sell what people are looking for. And, guess what, people are looking for, and buying, just about EVERYTHING online. If you want to hit the ground running AND have decent margins, sell what they are looking for that is a bit harder to find. I don’t mean crazy hard to find, just think about things you can dig up that are a bit rare or more unusual than typical stuff. Go hunting for used books, sell your locally made food, sell unique items from regional or local stores. Anything you can find that you have to search out a bit will work.
If you don’t want to sell physical products, make a digital book about something you know how to do. It could be knitting, or sewing, or repairing toilets, or writing a resume. Anything that you have “how to” experience with. Are you completely lacking in a hobby or skill (and I doubt that you are), then do an interview with your brother-in-law or your neighbor and write a digital “How-To” book on how to do what they do. These books sell like mad! People looking to acquire a new skill want to learn from everyday people who have that skill.
This is it folks, the time is RIGHT NOW! With all the computing power and information that you possess right at your fingertips, there are absolutely NO EXCUSES that you aren’t pulling in some extra dollars online.
If you still have an excuse, I’d love to hear it (and try to diffuse it!) because I cannot imagine an excuse that holds up.
Well, what are you waiting for? Start today and change your life. Your future is calling….
I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. Not only do I get to do, everyday, what I love—and make money at it!—I get to travel to exciting places and meet inspirational people. THANK YOU to everyone who made the journey to Louisville last weekend to be a part of CES III, Jim Cockrum’s third conference for online entrepreneurs. (If you are serious about online selling you NEED to follow Jim Cockrum—he is the most trusted internet marketer online and his free newsletter alone is invaluable.) I am a lifetime member of MST and this is THE place for anyone and everyone who is serious about online selling. You can check it out for free anytime.
It was just a four hour drive for me which is easy travelling compared to the hundreds who flew in for the event. The days leading to the conference felt like Christmas time, my excitement could hardly be contained. Old friends, new friends and celebrities all in the same place at the same time! It was almost too good to be true. Plus, we were there to share ideas and learn from the people who are blazing new trails and making lots of money in this online world.
This is my second CES conference (CES stands for creative ecommerce solutions I think) and what sets these events apart from any other is the atmosphere of sharing. Everyone is there to help each other succeed. There is only a tiny bit of selling (tools offered by the sponsers) and the rest of the event is people sharing their proven success strategies. It would be impossible to leave this conference without at least ten new ways to profit online. The biggest challenge for me is choosing JUST two or three and seeing them through.
After months of isolation (one downside of this business, I’m afraid,) I was in a room with hundreds of people who “got” me and my business!
I had a chance to mingle with great people before and after the conference too. I had dinners where we discussed scanners, wholesalers and FBA strategies. I had lunches where we talked about products, inventory turns and margins. Over cocktails there was talk of creative partnering and white labeling.
Jim Cockrum’s teachings create success stories–bottom line! Mike Brown and Death Wish coffee are one of the success stories and they were highlighted on the first day. Mike Brown took his struggling coffee company to #2 on Amazon after reading Jim’s book, 101 Marketing Tips. Mike is now vying for a free commercial on Super Bowl Sunday and you can help him win by voting at www.PickMikeBrown.com.
Onto the nuts and bolts of the conference-I am not going to attempt to go in order or encompass everything, but I will share some highlights. All of the people mentioned here are worth googling if you want to gain further insight into their strategies and ideas.
Dan Miller discussed finding the happy spot between pursuing a passion and earning a living. “Do what you love and follow the money.” He has a book at www.48days.com/why.
Next, George from Merchant Words (one of the sponsors) discussed how to find search terms. Simple, but probably overlooked, ideas were discussed. He discussed a proper title in Amazon and how not to “stuff” the title with too many keywords (Amazon doesn’t like this.) Overall, though, the goal is to turn buyer search terms into our search terms.
888 Lots was also a sponsor and they explained how they get inventory. Apparently, they buy all of the lost, loose and unclaimed items at the Amazon warehouses. I have heard of 888 Lots but have no experience working with them. It is so interesting to me, however, that every part of the Amazon cycle has been molded into a business.
Robyn, an amazing Amazon seller and one of Jim’s coaches spoke for about an hour. This woman is a bundle of energy and a great presenter. She focused on goal setting and backing into what you need to do NOW to achieve certain milestones numerically. She likes milestones and goals as a way of documenting progress. She discussed planning your work, creating systems, conquering stale inventory and refining your margin. She had a cute magnet for us all to track our individual goals. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dan Hollings was another featured presenter. He discussed how we, as Amazon sellers, have so much to offer other businesses. How about using our skills to grow another business’s product on Amazon? We can partner with the business and our fee is part of their increased profit. This is a great way to grow business without the responsibility of inventory. Also, for all the folks nervous about Amazon limits (and there was a lot of this going on,) you can run the business from someone else’s Amazon account.
Chris Green talked about Online Sourcing. The advantages of souring online are obvious. There is no travel time, free boxes, you can do it anywhere. He discussed major retailers and niche sites and taking advantage of daily deal sites. He also spoke on using virtual assistants to do some (or all) of the sourcing. I was impressed with all the applications and software that is now available for online sourcing. And while sourcing, remember to take advantage of cash back sites like eBates, use some store rewards and coupons? Chris Green is a maverick in online and retail arbitrage and has multiple videos on You Tube and a couple of THE BEST books about FBA and online arbitrage.
Barrington McIntosh also spoke–he is almost a legend in the Jim Cockrum group. He started doing retail arbitrage on Amazon a few years ago from home and has grown his business into a formidable force. The amazing thing is that his home is Jamaica. So many excuses people have about “not being able to find profitable inventory” go out the window when you meet someone from an island with no Target, no Walmart and no major stores who is making a living selling FBA on Amazon. He offers coaching for other international sellers and you can get more information right here.
The CES III conference was absolutely everything I expected and needed. I went for a little fuel and I felt like a rocket when I left! I am so fired up to IMPLEMENT some of the ideas. I intend to share here as I go forward.
When I began selling on the internet, I spent hundreds of hours combing through claims, ideas and ebooks trying to figure our who to listen to and what to do to start my business.
I found a handful who I am happy to recommend to you. These folks are the “real deal,” they stand behind their claims and are genuinely interested in YOUR success. Check them out and see if they resonate with you.
Jim Cockrum: “Voted the most trusted internet marketer.” His book, The Sales Machine is an amazing book that inspired me beyond belief. It made me realize that anything is possible with eBay and online selling.
Jim runs two membership sites, My Silent Team and OfflineBiz. My Silent Team is filled with great advice and a lot of action on the forums. There are also dozens of FREE eBooks by a variety of authors. You would pay $10-$50 or more apiece for these books and they are on the site for members to download at no charge. I spent hours the books on his site. They all led me to believe that ANYTHING is possible and there is no limit to what can be earned online. Jim Cockrum is a good man with a heart of gold.
His email newsletter is free and worth a peek.
Lisa Suttora: I found Lisa and her membership site whatdoisell.com when I first started selling on eBay. Her ideas are more mainstream than Jim’s, she has a lot of information on setting up your listing and pricing and what to sell on eBay. One article that is included on the membership site is “Ten Things You Can Sell For Free on Ebay” and I remember thinking that these were brilliant ideas. She was talking about Amazon before anyone else and she has many strategies for the long-term seller and is animate about not putting all your eggs in one basket–sell cross-channel. I haven’t been a member for quite some time, but her advice was worth gold when I was and I know she has been actively updating it.
Suzanne Wells: The original host of Stay At Home Mom’s Selling on eBay. She is a huge Amazon seller now and writes for many online groups. She runs a great blog and has recently started a cheap ($10 per month) membership site. I haven’t been inside her site, but I am certain that it is worth a peek.
Stuart Turnbull: His Prints To Profits book has evolved and he teaches EVERYTHING you need to know to set up your own prints selling business. He is a great man and the author of several wonderful eBooks.
Done By Deb: Deb runs a hilarious blog and is an up and coming eBook writer. Her strategies are for everyday folks who want to earn money on eBay. She is an expert at yard sale and garage sale sourcing. Her personal story is inspirational and she has a heart of gold. Her and Stuart run many projects together and I enjoy watching their work.
Tamara Patzer: Tamara has a site geared a little more toward women–www.mentoronlinemagazine, that offers tips and advice a couple of times a week. I don’t read every post, but when I’m down or looking for a kick of inspiration, this is where I turn.
This post isn’t about the War On Drugs, but I’m stealing Nancy’s famous words for another crusade.
When you decide to challenge yourself and grow, you must make room in your life for the challenge and the growth. There has to be room in your day and room in your mind.
Room in your day–in other words, time. Most folks are busy from the time they wake up until the time they retire at night. If you are like me, your 18 or so awake hours are filled to the brim.
If you are serious about making a change or growing, you will need to conjure up some time to accomplish this. Since you cannot make more time (shucks!) you will have to make more of your time. It will be important for you to say “NO” to some of the activities that fill up your days right now.
Take a long, hard look at how you are actually spending your time. You might want to keep a journal for a few days just to see where you are spending your time. In order to find the time to work on your dreams and goals, you will need to squeeze it out of your current day. You will have to give some things up.
THINGS TO SAY “NO” TO IN ORDER TO GET MORE TIME
1.) Television. This is such an easy target, but if you watch more than a tiny amount of T.V. it is time to break the habit. Get over watching other people’s lives and start living your own.
2.) Gossip. Gossip is a huge time waster and it happens everywhere–in the office, at the playground, around the house. Grab your coffee and move on. Close your office door. Pretend to be on the phone when the office gossip passes by. Rid yourself of this time waster!
3.) Meetings. Meetings can waste time. Next time you attend a meeting, notice how much time is spent moving the group forward and how much time is wasted. Attend as few meetings as possible. Can you have the minutes sent to you? Can you attend every other meeting?
4.) Housekeeping. Can you hire these chores out? Think hard about this. As soon as you can find the extra money, hiring out the cleaning or the lawn (or both) will free up a lot of time.
5.) Sleeping. I know, I know, we all need a good night’s sleep. However, if you are sleeping 8 hours or more, you might want to TRY giving up 15 minutes of sleep. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier for a week and then measure how you feel. If you are tired and cranky–go back to your normal amount of sleep. But, if you are not noticing a difference, you just gained almost 2 hours a week!
6.) Cooking. There is no reason to spend hours on cooking if this isn’t something you love. The important part of dinner is the family interaction, not what is on the plates. Cut back on the amount of time you spend in the kitchen buy using your crock pot or buying simpler meals.
USING THE MOST OF “DOWN” TIME:
1.) Listen to motivational CD’s in the car, while you work out or when you clean the house. You can get these at the library for FREE or use You Tube and your smartphone.
My latest favorites: John Maxwell, Wayne Dyer and Bob Proctor
2.) Have a book or a journal or a laptop with you while waiting for the children. I have four children and spend a large number of hours driving them around and waiting for them at their various activities. I always have a book or journal ready to pass the time in a productive way.
3.) Discipline yourself to focus. This is my biggest area that needs improvement. A lot of entrepreneurs, I know, are like me. We jump from idea to idea sometimes not getting a lot done before getting distracted or starting on something new. Make a list of the six most important things to do each day and do them, one at a time, until you are finished. If any are leftover, start there the next day. I will recall this advice and use it.
As always, your comments are welcome here. Let us know what you are saying “no” to!
Think about it.
Every business you drive by (whether in your car or with your mouse) started with a “crazy” idea.
Glance around the room you are sitting in right now–everything you see is the result of a crazy idea. The clock on the wall, the fridge, the toaster, the sliding glass door. This computer you are looking at and the internet you are searching on were once the ideas of people just like you.
These ideas appeared impossible at their inception. Think about how the Wright brothers must have sounded to their friends and neighbors-two silly kids trying to fly! Consider the first person who decided to track time with a clock, or the first person who mapped out the internet.
Many businesses also seem crazy initially. Twenty years ago it would be hard to imagine explaining to anyone that coffee at some places would cost $6 a cup. Or that we would spend as much money on drinking water as we do on milk.
Think about it:
Every successful endeavor you can think of started with a “crazy” idea!
What made these ideas take off? How do the folks who start businesses manage to keep their enthusiasm strong for their half-baked crazy ideas?
They protect their ideas. They keep them safe from idea-crushing people.
Let’s face it–people can be pretty negative and even folks who love us and wish us the best will crush a great idea in seconds flat. Even if they don’t say outright that the idea is silly, their body language or attitude often kills the idea. It isn’t that they don’t wish us well, they usually do, they just have an outlook that doesn’t include new ideas or new ways of thinking. Often, they think they are doing us a favor–saving us from wasting time or getting too excited. They are trying to save us from expecting too much.
Do not fall into any approval traps. You must not let the opinion of others slow you down or stop you! This cannot be over-emphasized. Most people are striving for “average.” And average is not what you are here to be.
You must move beyond the usual ways of thinking. Your same old thinking is never going to make your life better or even different. If you continue to ignore or reject your crazy ideas, you will be more or less the same for the rest of your life.
Your current level of thinking has gotten you to exactly where you are right now. And if you are not living the life of your dreams and you don’t see the life of your dreams in your near future, your level of thinking MUST change.
YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOUR IDEAS AND DREAMS WITH YOUR LIFE! Treat it like the very fragile seed it is and do not let anyone else’s opinion make you neglect it or discount it.
Your idea’s biggest threat, however, is not other people. The biggest threat to your great idea is you. For many reasons, your own mind will start to talk you out of your idea. You will start to have fear: fear of failure, fear of looking stupid or fear of wasting time. You will start to convince yourself your idea is silly or time-consuming or unworthy. DO NOT ALLOW YOU TO KILL YOUR IDEA!
Trust me on this—I have seen it happen many times in my own mind.
My self-talk used to be pretty negative: Wendy, how on earth can you run a business with four kids? Isn’t life ‘good enough’ as it is? Your life is the same as all of your friends and they seem pretty happy, why change anything? Why work so hard when everything is ‘pretty nice’? Are you greedy? Are you trying to show off?
The biggest threat to my ideas and to my success came from within my own mind. I had to rewire my thinking, big-time, to overcome my own limiting beliefs. It is hard to unravel 40 years of beliefs, but I have managed to teach myself to think, believe and behave differently than I did five years ago. And differently than my entire upbringing had taught me. This re-wiring was (is!) tough work but it has made a major difference in my outlook and on my achievement.
Your great ideas and business ventures need to be protected. You must stay on guard against anyone (especially yourself) who makes your idea seem silly or impossible.
What is your great (crazy) idea? If your dream is on the forefront of your mind right now you are 100 steps in front of most people. If it doesn’t, that’s o.k., you just get to embark on some soul-searching.
If you have to re-discover your dreams, start today. There are many inside of you, I am certain. If you are anything like me, you might have to go digging for them. Years of pushing dreams back, ignoring them and discounting them often makes them hard to even remember. But they are still there–I promise.
You owe it to yourself to go within and find them. If you do nothing else this weekend, or next weekend, or the weekend after that, it is okay. You owe it to yourself to go within yourself and find your crazy ideas, to remember your dreams.
Start with these questions: What gets you excited? What do you love? If you had 100 million dollars in the bank how would you spend your time? What do you want your legacy to be?
Pull those ideas back out, dust them off and pick the one that speaks the most clearly to you.
Now, rekindle the flame of that idea. Give it the room and the nourishment it needs.
Picture yourself achieving this dream. Really imagine it–see yourself living with this dream accomplished or in progress. Put this image in the front of your mind and recall it daily.
Commit to make one step toward accomplishing your idea tomorrow. And two more steps before next week. You will start to get momentum. Grab your momentum and your dream and continue to take small steps. Eventually your steps will get bigger, your dream larger and more concrete and within a few months you will see serious progress.
You only go through this life once my friends—you owe it to yourself to hold steadfast to your dreams and accomplish all you are meant to be!
Your comments are always welcome here and so are your dreams.
It means getting streams on income from as many different sources as possible. If you sell on eBay, have several different products or suppliers. Don’t get too comfortable when one line is doing great, be sure to have another one in the works. Markets change fast and you need to be evolving right along with them.
The same goes for suppliers. Have at least two or three main suppliers, that way you are less affected when one changes prices or policies.
It also means selling “wide.” If you only sell on eBay, consider also selling on Amazon. Start building your own web site. When you sell on multiple sites, you have the opportunity to earn more. You are also less at the mercy of any one site’s rate changes.
It is important to also consider completely new revenue streams. Many online people earn money writing articles. There are great opportunities to share your knowledge and earn some money at the same time.
One place you can earn money writing is the Examiner. You can apply to become an examiner in just about any area. They offer pay based on traffic and ad revenue. They also have a great referral program. For every new writer you send them, they will pay you $50!
Writing on line is a great place to share the knowledge and expertise you have about your niche or what you sell. Check out the Examiner and please tell them I sent you.
Thank you for participating in the survey I conducted a few weeks ago! I got dozens of responses and I appreciate your time.
My goal with the survey was to determine where the majority of my audience is in terms of internet selling. I figured it would help me to help you.
The survey showed a wide range of selling experience and goals. Your expereince and methods of selling were almost evenly distributed across beginner level to advanced level and from eBay selling through Amazon and Amazon FBA.
It left me puzzled on how to best proceed with helping you all.
I think I went through some “analysis paralysis” after the survey–I haven’t been focussing on this blog or website because I wasn’t sure the best way to proceed.
I have decided to keep my focus similar to where it was before—teaching you what I’m learning on my own internet income journey. I enjoy sharing as I learn and it helps to keep me focussed and accountable.
My current project involves setting up and learning to sell efficiently and profitably on FBA. I will keep you posted as I learn the ins and outs of Amazon and FBA.
I might throw in some basic eBay videos because my father-in-law really wants to start selling on eBay and I’d like to help him.
If you have questions or suggestions, please shoot me an email.
I hope you are all enjoying each and every day of Summer 2012! As always, I appreciate your questions and emails.
One of the challenges to being a ‘trep is that no one sets up your office for you–there is no computer, copier or phone system for you to jump on. There is no software already installed. And the scariest thing (for me)–no technical support person waiting in the wings when stuff doesn’t work.
As small business owners, we choose our own equipment. We purchase our own supplies and manage our own technical support. It is just part of the deal.
I have a few things I’ve brought into my business that have paid for themselves hundreds of times over—and I thought I’d share these with you all. These are the tools I use daily and am grateful for.
1.) Zebra 2844 Thermal Label Printer. I bought it refurbished from Hippodeals.com. It was around $200. I debated this purchase for quite a while–and hesitated for a few months, but I am SO happy with this label printer. I cannot imagine going back to cutting labels out with scissors like I used to. The folks at Hippodeals were super responsive and very patient as I set this printer up.
2.) Ship Rush for Stamps.com. This service is $30 per month and worth it’s weight in gold if you are shipping more than a few packages each day or if you have different websites to ship from. It integrates easily with eBay and Amazon. The support is decent. I’ve had a few hiccups with them, but everything is always resolved.
3.) Smart phone. Get one now! I debated this purchase for a while, but I cannot imagine not having one now. Life is better–especially if you want to do any scouting. One good find each month pays for the phone. I’ve had the iphone and the droid and they are both awesome.
5.) USPS package pick-up. They come to my house 6 days per week and pick up packages. I have a large plastic box in my driveway and they know to check the box each day. I keep post office trips to a minimum this way. I also order all my free supplies (priority boxes and envelopes) at usps.com and have them delivered.
6.) White project board for backdrop for eBay pictures. I use a three sided board I bought at an educations store–it works fine for photos and is easy to set up and take down. Cheaper than a cup of good coffee—I bought one in black as well (although I don’t use that color so much)
Anyhow, as soon as you can, invest in your business. Tools are designed to make your life easier so you can concentrate on the more important things (like making more money or hiding those Easter Eggs!)
l had the privilege of spending the past four days and nights with Tony Robbins and 5,000 of his raving fans. It is an experience I will never forget!
Tony Robbins–in case he needs an introduction–is the crazy, energetic, self improvement maverick that has been teaching personal empowerment techniques to millions of people over the past 3 decades. Some of his rich and famous clients pay him $1,000,000 per year for 12 hours of individual coaching. He assists the “best of the best” in getting through their particular obstacles (his clients include Serena Williams, Bill Clinton and Andre Agassi) and also works (in large seminar settings or through his team of coaches) with millions of people worldwide.
I’ve been a fan of personal development for years and I’ve been especially into the concepts taught by Tony Robbins and similar coaches since starting my own business. Developing myself is almost an obsession. It is hard to believe, but even at my middle age, I’m still figuring myself out.
But, at least, I’m not alone. I met 5000 similar people at last weekend’s event and we had an enriching experience that I will never forget.
Several friends and associates have asked my opinion on Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within event since I’ve returned and I want to take a few minutes to provide a summary and some insight.
The Unleash The Power Within event is 3 1/2 days full of impact and useful information for anyone open to change or trying to make a breakthrough. I do think a person must be OPEN to changing in order to benefit–you probably cannot drag an unwilling partner with you to try to “fix” them. In other words, if you are not interested in improving (ie–you are perfect already or completely content in your imperfect state) there is no point in attending.
The great thing is that Tony Robbins is incredibly articulate and completely inspiring. He really wants people to create their best possible life and it shows in everything he does. Just watching this man perform for the weekend is inspiring.
A quick summary of Unleash the Power Within:
Day 1 opened with a lot of fanfare. Think rock concert. The crowd is crazy and excited and when Tony came on stage the enthusiasm only went up. After listening to him speak for a few minutes it is obvious–the man is brilliant, compassionate and passionate. He is the real deal and it is impossible not to be impressed. We spent most of day 1 learning about our own blueprint–our unique way of experiencing the world and what makes us do what we do. Day 1 ended with most of us doing “the firewalk” and yes, I walked across 1200 degree coals! Some people consider this a life-changer, others just a good bar story. Either way, it certainly opens your eyes to what you can do.
Day 2 was run by Tony’s top coach, Joseph McClellan III. Joseph is a great speaker and a great motivator. The day went by quickly as we learned the ultimate success formula and the power of beliefs. Most of the activities are interactive and you get really comfortable sharing your stories and strategies with strangers. Even more comfortable hugging and high-fiving them. We learned about momentum and progress. The cool thing is that every situation is directed inward–in other words you are learning a ton about your own philosophy and identifying the life you want and how to best get there.
Day 3 begins with the “Dickens” method of eliminating your limiting beliefs. It is a long, emotional process. Definitely worth a try if there is anything holding you back. Tony discusses the best plan for mastering anything and gives a boatload of ideas and opinions. There is quite a bit of selling during the middle of the day–I expected this and didn’t really mind.
Day 4 is run by Joseph again. The top focus is getting yourself in the best possible physical shape. There are ideas about breathing and moving and eating. The idea is that your physiology is key to a great life–without a good physiology you have a hard time being in a good state and achieving excellent–or outstanding–results. This day dragged a bit for me–I am familiar already with many of the concepts. I have resolved to take the 10 day challenge of eating mostly plant based foods and drinking a lot of water. I’ll keep you posted.
Overall, the event was outstanding. A worthwhile trip for anyone interested in seriously improving their life. My advice if you go–
Dress warm and bring a lot of layers. The auditorium was kept quite chilly. We were told of this in our registration, but bring more than you think you’ll need.
Bring food—easy to eat, healthy food. There are few breaks and it is hard to get 5000 people through lines.
Consider upgrading to a front row seat. We paid the basic rate and sat toward the back, but I think I would have really appreciated watching the stage over a screen.
If you are considering attending–GO! I waited years to go and only wish I would have done it sooner.