Create the Business YOU Want

As 2011 is drawing to a close, I’ve been taking time to reflect on how things went in my business and personal life.  I’ve been pondering what I want my business and life to be like in 2012.  What have I learned?  What went well? What do I need to change?  After much reflecting and pondering I realized that just because I have various projects and websites that I’ve had for years does not mean that those projects or websites suit my current needs, values or direction.  I am the one in charge and I get to choose just HOW I spend my energy.

One of my major “Ah-Ha!” moments came when I looked at all of my online endeavors and realized that I am spreading myself thin with far too many projects – many of which don’t really excite me anymore!  I was sitting down and writing out 2012 goals for each of my websites and making lists of all of the tasks I  wanted to get done.  And WHOA!  Holy NUTS! Boy-oh-boy!  I have enough work for several people to do.  This includes work on this site, my Public Domain site, my FBA Collectible Toys site, several sites filled with Public Domain content, a few niche sites and a partridge in a pear tree. Originally I thought – I can handle this, I’ll just do a little on each site – I’ll make a schedule and I’ll stick to it.  “I’ve done this before – I can do it again” I said to myself.  Then I started looking at all the crap I’d have to do – and – yuck! If there were 48 hours in each day AND I could type without my hands hurting then this would be feasible.  But then, I could outsource some of the work – right?  True, I “could” do that – but then I have to create detailed instructions about what I want done, I have to make sure they understand what they’re doing, I have to double-check their work until everything is running smoothly…etc. If I’m handing something over to an outsourcer, I don’t want to worry about anything.  Truth be told – I DO NOT want to sit here put that all together.  Sure, I could outsource little pieces of the whole puzzle and then I have to put the puzzle together myself – that’s all well and good – but I don’t want to be doing that – at least not with projects/websites that just don’t excite me anymore.  Never-mind the fact that having the time to only do a tiny bit of work on each site is going to get me nowhere fast!

Seriously….how in the world do I expect to grow an audience for a website when I post very intermittently and by the time I finally send out an e-mail to the list for the site, the folks have already forgotten they even signed up to receive e-mails from me/the site? Silly, silly.

So, after figuring out what I DON’T want, I focused on what I DO want…

  • Continue sourcing and selling items for FBA (I am REALLY enjoying this!)
  • Keep websites/projects that excite me – stuff I REALLY enjoy – stuff I’d do for free.
  • Create a realistic schedule of what I’m doing with the sites I’m keeping.
  • Focus on adding value while creating hands-off passive income.
  • Leverage, leverage, leverage each post/idea/item I create.
  • Schedule in some fun “me time” EVERY Day!  – All work and no play make’s Beth a grumpy gal! – out of everything, this is going to be the most challenging one to stick to!

One (of many) people who has helped to influence this positive “shift” in my business is Katie Freiling.  I randomly found her on YouTube and signed up for her free video series “Power to Profit” – I HIGHLY recommend watching the videos – especially if you’d like to figure out your passions and make them part of your business.  I’m also becoming a fan of Cheryl Richardson – she is really big on taking care of yourself first – if you’re feeling depleted then you’re not going to be good to anyone around you, and your business will suffer too!

So I’m on my way to creating the business that I want.  How about you?

What kind of business do you want to create and what are you going to do to get there?

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”

– Keri Russel


Going Commando at a Book Sale!

Let me clarify….when I say “going commando” I mean that I went and bought books WITHOUT a scanner.  Scanners and cell phones were banned at this sale 🙁  It was a 10,000 book FOL sale.  I got there within the first couple hours of them being open.

My goal was to find profitable books to sell on Amazon WITHOUT using FBA Scout.  Yikes!  The first aisle had all the supposedly “collectible” books.  Next it was onto the non-fiction area.  I especially looked at craft books, gardening and cooking.  Found a few good ones there then skimmed biographies, business and religion – nothing for me there.  I glanced up and noticed a section of CDs, audio books and DVDs.  I don’t know if someone wiped them out in the first hour or what – but the pickings were slim here with most being ex-library – nothing for me here.  Then it was off to the children’s book section – found a few.  Then I walked the perimeter of the sale looking for areas I may have missed.  I totally walked past the fiction area.  I don’t know enough about fiction writers to pick out the valuable ones without FBA Scout.  Then I  noticed an area with a bunch of puzzles – Neat-O!  And oh-boy…a sealed, NIB, photo-mosaic puzzle!  3 other opened ones and 2 cartoon themed regular puzzles (opened).  I did one more walk around and found some more possibly good books to sell on Amazon.

6 puzzles / $6 – I’m not going to talk about those here, check out my other site FBA Collectible Toys where I’ll talk about my puzzle finds.

$19 worth of books – kids books, craft, gardening, non-fiction.  I used FBA Power to look up pricing info and list them – quick and easy 🙂

Here is info about most of the books I found (except for the 3 I kept for myself 🙂

Note:  When I put the “non-FBA” prices, these include the shipping cost with them.  Since I’m listing the books FBA, the price I put is based on non-FBA prices with shipping.  Also, I listed many items at $25 even when that is way over what non-FBA sellers are selling the book for.  My reasoning for this is that $25 allows for Free Super Saver shipping for those folks that aren’t “Prime members”.  Plus – if I happen to be the ONLY FBA seller, then why the heck not price it at $25? Yes….people do buy them.  Of course, I do always have the option of changing the price at a later date.  And one other thing….many of these books are “long tail” meaning that they aren’t generally popular with everyone…but for those few that are looking for a book in that particular niche – bam – I’ve got the sale most likely.


5 kids books

Fisher Price book –  no FBA sellers – non-FBA ranges $5.29 – $6.35 – listed for $25

Blue Clues books with Buttons that make noise – no FBA sellers – non-FBA ranges$4 –  $97 – listed for $25

Disney pop-up book – 1 FBA seller $4 Acceptable – non-FBA ranges $4 – $140New – listed for $45

Board book with flaps – no FBA sellers – non-FBA  ranges $4 – $16 – listed for $25

Disney Christmas board book – 2 FBA sellers $3.30 Good –  non-FBA ranges $4-$292 – listed for $25

Disney Picture book – 2 FBA sellers $3.99 – $4.99 – non-FBA ranges $4-$6.99 – listed for $25

4 hard cover books

Craft – Needlework Book – no FBA sellers – non-FBA ranges $5.29 – $8.99 – listed for $25

Book from Public Television Show – no FBA sellers – non-FBA ranges $6.80 – $14.99 – listed for $25

Golden Picture book about the Solar System from 1957 – NOT SELLING – keeping this one for myself.  I really like the illustrations in the old Golden Picture Books and Encyclopedias….adding it to my collection 🙂

Self Defense book – 1 FBA seller $55.99 –  non-FBA ranges $4-$5 – listed for $49.99

soft cover books

Specialty teaching book – ex library – $25

Furniture craftspeople directory – $25 – 1 FBA seller $2.95 good. non-FBA ranges $4.99 – $43.99

Book about Antique linens and lace – $25 – 1 FBA seller $11.95 VG. non-FBA ranges $7.65 – $22.99

book about Faberge Eggs – $25 – no FBA sellers. non-FBA ranges $4.89 – $46

Foam craft book – $4.99 – Amazon is selling this one for $5.95.

Niche Architecture book – $75 – no FBA sellers. non-FBA ranges $7.99 – $85

Niche craft book – $12.99 – 3 FBA sellers ~$3. non-FBA ranges $4-$8.99

19 craft patterns (these were a few pages each)

None of these craft patterns had any FBA sellers on Amazon.  Non-FBA prices ranged from $4 up to $9.  I listed most of them for $12.99 and a few for $25.

3 other books I’m keeping for myself 🙂

Total spent = $19 on books

The box I sent to Amazon with 32 books in it is worth $688.74

Around 1/3 of that will be fees and what not – approximately $230 will go to Amazon in fees (storage, selling fees, shipping fees).

That leaves $458.74

Minus the $19 I spent on books gives me an expected profit of $439.74

Not too shabby!  I’m rather proud of myself 🙂  Did I leave a lot of potential profit on the tables at the book sale? – Absolutely!  Having my scanner with FBA Scout helps tremendously and would have increased my profit tremendously.  However, “going commando” forced me to hone in on the subjects that I was familiar with instead of looking at everything under the sun.

I think I may “go commando” at another books sale, but have my scanner in my pocket just to check 😉