Hello Everyone, it’s been a little longer than usual since my last post. I will quickly catch you up on what I have been up to for about the past 2 weeks. From September 3rd through the 7th I was in Dallas, TX attending CES II, which was a conference put on by Jim Cockrum and his team. Selling online, and via FBA in particular, was one of the primary focuses of the conference. I was able to learn a decent amount from the presentations that were given at the conference, but the real value for me was in meeting and connecting with many people who are selling online as well. In talking with other attendees it was great to have a mutual understanding of what selling online entails, as many people we encounter outside of conferences like this do not understand what being a full time online seller means. In addition to this many ideas and strategies were discussed and shared. If you have the opportunity to attend a conference similar to this in the future, I would definitely encourage you to attend as I am confident I will make the investment of time and money that was spent going to the conference many times over in the future.
In addition to the conference on September 8th I started a lease on an office/warehouse space (pictured above). More on this later, but it’s great to start getting all of the inventory out of my house.
Now, for today’s content. I want you to consider for a moment whether your activities selling on amazon and/or eBay are a business or a job?
If you were removed from the equation, would income continue to be produced?
In answering this question, we’ll make a distinction between being self-employed and owning a business. To truly own a business you need to be able to remove yourself from the equation and have the business continue to produce income, and ideally continue to grow without your immediate presence. Being self-employed basically means that you are working for yourself, acting as both boss and employee, and if you were removed from the process income would cease to flow.
So with that said, I am self-employed and thus far my activities selling online are not a business. So basically I have a job, and my boss is me. If I was removed from the process of selling online income would continue for a few months with my FBA inventory, but it would quickly decline, and would eventually dry up. Now, don’t get me wrong, for me personally being self-employed is a MASSIVE step up from being employed in the traditional sense. Being self-employed allows for a great deal of freedom and flexibility, but if you remove yourself from the process for too long, you will not have any income. So being self-employed is good, and this leads us to the next set of questions.
What are your goals related to selling online?
Are you happy with being self-employed?
Would you be happier if you created a true business?
I will answer these questions first, before digging in a little deeper. My initial goal when I quit my job about a year ago was to replace the income that I was making completely, but did not focus immediately on creating a true business. I am happy being self-employed, and enjoy what I am doing now significantly more that my previous accounting job. My goals are continually evolving, but a major goal that I am working on now is to create a true business out of selling on amazon. There was a quote that I have heard several times recently that has stuck with me, it is “Do what only you can do.” This is fairly intuitive but boils down to if you are spending time doing something that could be easily done by others, maybe what you are doing isn’t the best possible use of your time. This really makes sense for me, and is the direction I have been starting to head the past few months. This began by starting to have people sourcing product for me, as has been seen in the past 2 monthly results posts. Signing the lease on the warehouse/office space fits into this plan as well, as I am planning to continue to move in this direction by hiring some part time help to pack and process items. Long term, my goal is to turn selling on amazon into a true business, that I can remove myself from (if I want to), and have income continue to flow. I do enjoy selling on amazon, so I am not looking to step away from it anytime soon, but I want to begin building a structure for if one day it’s no longer how I wish to spend my time, I have a business that can provide a steady income.
Now, just because the above is my goal, doesn’t mean that it will be a fit for you. For some of you reading the goal might be to make $250 profit per month for some extra spending money. Others might want to work full time and never have to deal with the potential hassle of having employees, and just work around 40 hours per week and have a very stable income. Still others might want to create a business that generates millions of dollars per year in profits and can operate without them. The beauty of selling online is that any of these options are possible, and none is necessarily better than the others if it aligns with your personal goals.
So although the title of this post is “Are you creating a job or a business?” The real question is “Are you creating something that aligns with your personal and financial goals?”
Some of you have likely considered the above questions that I have posed throughout this post, and I am betting that there are a decent number that have not. I think these are very important question to seriously think about. My primary goal with this post is for you to think about what you want to get out of selling online, as well as what you need to do to make it happen. If you are already on the right track, great. If not, what are the steps that you need to take to achieve your goals selling on amazon?
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are hoping to get out of selling online, if you would like to share your goals for selling online, or any questions/comments you may have in the comments below!