Attitudes are more important than intelligence.
Stickability is 95% of ability.
I am like most people, and I live a pretty ordinary simple life. I am like you, and just like you, money seems to never be enough.
I work a full time job, and I just didn't want to work two jobs to make ends meet and miss my children growing up.
So I decided to learn a new skill, starting businesses, and at first I thought it would be complicated and over my head, but once I decided what it needed to not be, it got very easy.
- It couldn't take a lot of time, My time is valuable and I just don't have the time to spend.
- It had to be simple. Simple works, complicated always fails.
- It could not cost a lot of money to start. Let's face it, if we had a lot of money, we wouldn't been doing this in the first place.
- I don't have the resources to manage payments from customers so the model has to have someone else do it for me.
I then looked at what fit what I needed to do, did my research and sorted through get rich book after get rich book, weeded out the useless or the complicated and I learned one important concept.
The important point is this;
What I sold wasn't important, as I would change them as the demand changed, what mattered was the model, how to do it.
Once you get the model, the rest is easy, just find things to sell.
I always have started many small businesses to make extra money, money that I use daily to feed my kids, pay my car, and live my life.
Like most people, no one will ever give me free money, so we need to find a way to make our own.
The Simple Rules
Always keep in mind that your time is worth money, so don't waste it on businesses that make no money.
The business cannot be something that takes a lot of your time and effort. Simply put, if you took 2 hours to make $5 the you make $2.50 an hour, what is your time worth. Always remember the time you are spending, maximize the result, and cut loose of anything that doesn't no give you a could return on your money.
Your time is like money, and like money, you don't have a lot to waste.
Use tools to make it as automatic as possible.
Use the already set up channels to sell, channels such as Ebay, Alibris, and Amazon, who not only have programs to reward you for using their services, but for a small commission all will work for you twenty four hours a day. They work for you while you work at your job, while you have dinner with your family, they work for you while you sleep.
We will discuss how these work later, but their web sites are simple to understand.
Simple products means products that are not complicated to sell, buy, or use. Complicated means more effort, more problems. Nice simple products mean nice simple profits with very little headaches. I have enough headaches, I am sure you do to.
Simple is best.
Money can be a handicap.
Too much money means too much thinking, too much time planning. No money means take action, get busy. You ever meet people who tell you they have a great idea for a business but never do anything? No money means you don't have time to debate, you take action. I have learned that taking action leads to other opportunities.
Take action today.
Remember the goal, more money and more time.
Many people get caught up in the whole idea of the business and end up working around the clock, checking their sales every two minutes. The point is to keep it simple, make extra cash with little effort
Be ruthless towards the business.
Just because you thought something was a good idea doesn't it mean it was a good idea. If a product isn't selling, tweak, test it, but in the end, if it is not working, stop selling it and find another. The important part is the model, how it works, not what product you are pushing through it.
If it doesn't sell, pick something else.
Action cures Fear.
Everyone has problems, and I know exactly what it feels like to feel unsure where money will come from, how the bills will be paid. What you can't do is do nothing. Take action, get moving, and fear fades to the background as you reclaim your life.
Action leads to opportunity.
These are experiments not failures.
As you test the waters and try different products, remember that if they don't work, they are not failures, they are experiments on the way to success. I read a quote once, and I am not sure who wrote it but to paraphrase, if it is not working, it doesn';t mean it will end badly, it just means the work isn't finished.
No one, nothing, is ever perfect out of the gate.
Set a goal, set a deadline, and measure your progress.
Decide on a number, could be sales dollars, and then set a date, say 60 days, and then measure your daily progress. What gets measured gets done, and turns this from wishful thinking to an actual plan.
Measure your progress.
Sell only 1 or 2 types per channel.
Only offer standard shipping, no expedited, no international. Remember simple.
Let them contact you only by email. No phones. Who has time.
Only use payment services of the channels, such as Ebay and Amazon. You can set up merchant accounts, but for now, simple and no added cost.
Check local sources:
library used book stores
What do you like and buy?
What does your family and friends like and buy?
Get products from different niches.
People often forget what is unique about their part of the world. They see the things around them everyday, walk past it, until it becomes part of the background noise, lost.
Stop. Look around you. What is there that no one else has?
I have traveled and I know that every area of the world has its own unique flavor, its own food, clothes, spices, toys, and they have access to items that no one else has. These items are also cheaper there than anywhere. What is common with you is uncommon a thousand miles away.
So stop for a moment and think about the area you are in, what is unique about your area. What can you get there that others in the world cannot?
Those items are worth more in other parts of the world than where you are, and they will pay more than you currently pay. These items cheap to you can be sold for more money to others elsewhere in the world.
Stop the self editing for a moment, stop the how to questions, and just think of the item.
Most successful sellers on the internet understand that using multiple product servicing methods is important.
Look at the competition, what are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?
What are they charging, where did they get they get their products, how much did they pay, what margins are they getting?
Case History 1 - Used Books
I love books, love them, and maybe I may be a little obsessed with them. I have boxes of books in my garage, at least twenty, and I have browsed them, and sorted through them, but I seem to get more than I give away.
The issue is that where I live, the Los Angeles area, there is a lot of people, and also a lot of libraries. People literally donate hundreds of books to the library weekly, sometimes for tax breaks, sometimes just for the act of giving, but the important point is that the libraries get them free.
The libraries then sell them to the public in their on site local used bookshop for about a dollar each. It cost them nothing to get it, they then sell them and make a dollar or two for the library.
What I noticed was these books were selling online for about five to seven dollars. I could buy for two dollars and then turn around and sell online, on Amazon or Ebay, and sell them for seven dollars, making five dollars a book. Some hard covers I bough for a dollar would sell online for ten or eleven dollars. The first week I did this, a holiday week. I made fifty dollars on books I bought for a total of 8 dollars.
I now can pull a couple of hundred a month extra cash just from looking at books, something I did for free before.
Some sell for more, some sell for less, but you learn to sort them out, and figure out which channels are best for which books.
I looked at different ways to sell on line, Ebay, Amazon, and Alibiris, discovered the commissions, and made my choices on channels. Some channels sell more of one type of books than others.
I also learned which books sold better. Hard covers are better selling than paperbacks.
Amazon pushes newer books better and gets a better price, Ebay is better for collectibles, while Alibris sells collectibles and standard paperbacks a little better depending on the catagory.
This won't get anyone rich, which also means most people will stay out of it. But if you like books and you are looking anyway, its a nice way to make an extra one to two hundred a month with no major effort.
That's the key point, find what is unique to your area, what you can get cheaper than others, and go online with it.
You don't need a lot of inventory, in fact, you don't want a lot of inventory, nor do you need a lot of cash.
I bought some books for a few dollars, created an account on Amazon for free, and sold them.
The products can be anything you can get cheap, Hawaiian shirts, craft dolls, simple jewelry, local spices, what do you have to sell?