So I happen to feel pretty uncomfortable opening myself up to others. Especially strangers. I’m sure a lot of people do but even now as I start typing, I can feel the little butterflies in my stomach fluttering around. Breathe Liz, just breathe.
But I’m pushing myself to get comfortable being uncomfortable! So I’m going to open up & tell you all about my path so far. Before we can start this journey together, I want to give you a bit of history on my failures & my wins. I’m ready to open up so here we go! Phew!
Small Business Un-Satisfaction
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to own my own business. I’ve always worked for small business & have always found that they need help. A lot of it. There were days I found myself wishing some sort of consultant would walk in & set them straight. Or worse case scenario, they would listen to me.
Whether it was making a decision on what property renovations to bid, which contractor to hire, which tasks to make priority, whatever the decision was… I was barely ever heard. And let me tell you, I tried. Especially with my thick NY accent and being raised with 2 older brothers, I felt my voice was loud enough. But I’m a woman. In the construction industry.
I don’t want to pretend that all men in construction are sexist. That they don’t have their own wives, sisters, mothers and daughters. Thats simply not true. I’ve had co-workers & bosses who never treated me different than my male co-workers. But being in the industry, I can tell you that sexism is alive & well. It sucks but its the truth.
But I digress a bit. As usual.
Working for small businesses and seeing first hand how they failed to function correctly, I knew I could run my own business. I have the education & the know-it-all to handle financials, operations, HR and all the other facets of a business. But until the last few years, this was all in the back of my head. I didn’t know where to start or even what I truly wanted.
“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” —P.T. Barnum
Until I leaped into social media and found…
Did you just shutter a bit? So did I.
I’m not going to put down these business models because I did in fact make money & most likely could have made a lot more. I could have won the trips to Mexico & gone to the high-level (I hate that phrase) trainings. But at what cost?
I have worked for both Chloe+Isabel, an amazing fashion jewelry line from NY and Pure Romance. PR was obviously a lot more fun but as both were direct sales, they functioned under the same business model. Find a hostess, throw a party, sell goods, make money, recruit recruit recruit. It all sounded easy enough and the women I was meeting were always a blast but my home life suffered. Already working a full time job, it was tough to find time to not only give my husband and my husky enough attention but also take care of myself the way I felt I deserved.
It felt tremendously time-consuming to interact on several social media platforms to find hostesses then convince them to open their homes, friends and family to me. Perhaps years ago it was easier but unfortunately MLMs have gotten a bad rep & customers know all too well what to expect.
So I walked away from my team, my bonus’, my mentor and the company.
But that was only my first baby step.
I love Amazon! Who doesn’t? I love my prime account, especially now that I get an extra bonus at Whole Foods! So when I started to see ads popping up on social media for “How to make money on Amazon FBA”, I had to really dig in! The FBA program stands for Fulfillment By Amazon and makes being a seller with them incredibly easy. Basically you follow these steps:
- Research a product to sell
- Connect with suppliers & purchase product
- Product ships directly to Amazon warehouse
- Create a listing on Amazon for your product
- Amazon ships
- You make bank
Ok, maybe you don’t make bank but this seemed like a no-brainer to me. It seems invaluable to be able to tap in to the Amazon customer base! So I signed up for a training with a company called Marketplace Heros.
They are a fabulous company and the training & software provided worked great! I went step by step to learn everything from how to find products to making sure a product is profitable before purchasing to how to communicate with a supplier in China! It all seemed to good to be true!
Unfortunately, it came at a high price at around $100/month for a year.
Yikes! Yeah, thats a lot of money. So ultimately, this was the only reason I bailed on this Amazon FBA training. Now I have seen other ads on social media for these types of training & I may jump back to it… someday.
I honestly believe Amazon FBA is worth your time researching so if it sounds like something you’d like to check out, I highly recommend!
Next came Blogging
Now that is fun, I’m not going to lie! I’m able to share not only my day today activities but give insight to others to find peace in their lives. My blog, Zen from The Cabin, was created to help me find my own creative happy place & to help others find Zen in their lives.
But it’s a lot of work…
The creative side is wonderful. Building a website, finding or creating photos, and even writing. But writing looses its enjoyment when you begin to feel forced to create consistently. And this is hard for my brain to wrap around.
There are tons of bloggers out there offering free help to those starting out & I admit that I follow a ton of them on Facebook & Instagram. I haven’t purchased any training on this (yet) but could in the foreseeable future.There is too much free information online on this topic to warrant paying for a training at my level. Perhaps when I get more advanced.
So I’m currently working on relaunching Zen from The Cabin as a hobby but also to perhaps find some companies to partner with & make a bit of money. It won’t be life changing cash as many bloggers and influences make it seem but its fun & adds a bit of spice to my life!
The World of Selling Fashion. Poshmark
Have so much clothing & fashion crap around that you wish a weekend garage sale could get rid of it all & put some cash in the bank? Meet your online garage store, Poshmark! Poshmark is an interactive social commerce marketplace where buyers & sellers meet to exchange all things fashion, clothing & accessories. It’s super easy to sign up & Poshmark handles almost all the shipping for a flat fee of 20%.
Now 20% is a big number, I admit. But to have them email me the shipping label & I never have to worry about all that mess makes it worth it.
They also provide tips on how to make the most of your sales including getting FREE USPS boxes shipped to your house, how to improve the quality of your listings and more. Poshmark even provides you a website that is very user friendly!
I joined Poshmark in January of 2019 to try to sell some clothes I had laying around for extra cash for our honeymoon to Grand Cayman (I highly recommend this island by the way. We rented a car & traveled all over & always felt safe!) I also listed my wedding dress (she’s still listed if you like Vera Wang!), tons of purses, products from both Chloe+Isabel and Pure Romance, clothes and unopened makeup.
Just to give you an idea of how successful I’ve been, below are my cash transfers to my checking account. It did take a few days to appear but what a HUGE score to have during our honeymoon! I started in early January & in order 30 days, banked $122.77!
Poshmark does make it very easy to score extra cash if you take the time & stay on top of the app. Here are a few easy steps to get started:
- Create FREE account
- Create listings with high quality photos & detailed description
- Follow others + share their closets
- Share your closet listings several times a day
- Respond to any “Likings” of your listings by offering a discount
- Ship items in a professional & timely manner for positive reviews
It’s quite easy to get started & there is a wonderful Poshmark community to help along the way. If you’d like to know more about my Poshmark experience, let me know in the comments!
Want to see my closet? Check it out here: https://poshmark.com/closet/lizbit77
This is the stepping stone on which I’m on now and so far, I’ve only learned the tip of the iceberg. There is a ridiculous amount of training out there for affiliate marketing and an even more amount of information to learn. But thats ok. I know going into business for myself won’t be easy & will take time.
So I watched about a million Youtube videos on this & subscribed to a million channels. There are a lot of people out there setting some pretty high expectations so please be careful. It irks me to think how many people do get pulled into scams & get taken advantage of because they heard someone “quit their day job in 30 days!”
But there are some pretty excellent people out there doing the right thing & providing real training. This includes Wealthy Affiliates. I did my research online for reviews, scams posting, walk throughs of the website, all that fun jazz & came to the conclusion that for a free account, it was worth signing up.
I went through several stages of the training & decided that I found real value in the information. In order to push myself further, I decided to become a Premium Member at $19/month for the first month than $49/month. In order to make room for this, I’ll be cancelliung my tanning membership (I know, I know, its awful for my health!) & get better at making lunches so I don’t have to buy lunch 1 or 2 times a week anymore.
There. I found the cash so now I don’t feel guilty about joining another training.
So far, it has been worth every penny. Wealthy Affiliate training includes a domain which you can move over to a .com for under $20 a year + all of your training, a fabulous community & tons of tools to help me along the way. I really enjoy the extra motivation to keep my blog going & everything I’m learning to help it grow to success.
I highly recommend you check out Wealthy Affiliates if you’d like to learn more about this growing industry!
This will be the next avenue I try! I’ve watched several Youtube videos on this & have begun online research. Launch Jacking is basically finding new product (usually software or training), asking for a sample to review and creating a real review of the product. If you happen to have a positive review, include a link of product & someone else purchases off that link, you can earn a commission.
If I had a new product out, I would most likely skip all the big hoop-la of advertising & stick to getting real, honest reviews and paying a commission to a real person instead of a media or marketing company. But that is just my option.
So this seems like an interesting step to take on the path but I haven’t done anything more than research. I’ll keep you updated on my finds & see where this leads us!
I’m going to continue my journey with a few of these channels & be realistic here but I’m going to stay positive & tell myself that if I keep my focus & work hard, this will all work out and I’ll be my own boss before I know it! Have a business idea or a channel thats worked for you? Sharing is caring!