Amazon FBA: New Product Samples!

There were some other things that we were going to talk about today.  And then, this came!

It’s August, which means it’s been a long time since February, which is when I first found out about Amazon Private Label products and decided, yeah, I think I could do that.  Let’s give it a go.

Since that time, you have seen me attempt and fail to launch two separate private label products.

The first one was totally my fault, I did not have my stuff together, didn’t really know what I was doing and managed to totally turn a supplier off from doing business with me.  That felt good.  That felt really good.

The second product didn’t work yet because it was big.  And because of how big it was, it was going to cost me about a million dollars to ship it.  Honestly though, I was trying to ship kind of a small number of this product and when I went back and told the main supplier that I was working with, “look, I can’t place an order with you right now because I can’t get my shipping cost down to where I can make money off it,” they said “Yeah, usually people order a whole container load.”  Which could be like a twenty eight foot container, which is a lot of product.  Which I am not ready to invest in quite yet.

So that’s why I am really excited and really hopeful about whats in this package and hopeful that it will be the one, that it is something that I can actually get to market.

It is small and light weight as you can see, fits inside a shoebox, ish, if you didn’t have all this extra packaging around it, and it is something that I have actually bought for myself both in real brick and mortar retail stores  and have ordered off the internet.  So I know there’s a market for it because I’m in it.

I found this product by doing a combination of two things.  One was just really starting to pay attention to the things that I use every day.

Scott Voelker calls that his touch list, he actually recommends that you walk around and write down the things that you touch or you use on an every day basis.

But I didn’t do that, I just kind of thought about it at the end of the day, ok what did I do today, did I do anything different or is there anything that might be interesting?

And from there I used Jungle Scout to validate it.  So you know I did a review of Jungle Scout and walked through how to use the tool in a video prior to this.  So go back and review that if you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I say Jungle Scout, but I did use that to validate that this could be a good product to try and bring to market.

Get Jungle Scout here (affiliate link, obviously)

So what happens next? Well I actually have to open this package because the FedEx guy just left here about ten minutes ago and I was so excited, I was like, “oh this is going to be my video for the week, yay!”

Hopefully the quality is good and we can move forward, this supplier has been so easy to work with, they have been prompt to respond to all of my questions, they are willing to put labels on and do all the things that I need to do to make this a good private label product at Amazon.

From there, its about setting up your labels and the marketing, making sure you’ve got all the information right, setting up a shipping plan with Amazon and finding a freight forwarder, oh if they could just send them all like this, that would be the best thing, and we will go from there.

I am really excited guys, I think that there is something happening here.

So, here’s what you can do for me, just keep your fingers crossed that I don’t screw it up this time, because its happened before.

The other thing you can do for me is make sure you are subscribed to this channel so you never miss a video.

I post new ones every Wednesday.

I talk about yes, building a private label company that sells on the Amazon platform, but also about all different types of things related to starting a business or even things related to how to be better at your day job.

I just did a video a couple of weeks ago about how to get a raise and you know what?  I just had my annual review and who got a raise? And it was a good one, I was happy.

And I did all those things I talked about in that video, I’m not making this stuff people it works!  So, whew, got a little carried away there.

But, be sure to come back again next week for more videos about this or something else that I’m going to talk about that got me excited, I don’t know, but I will see you next week.  Bye guys, have a great week, take care!

How To Ask For A Raise

Raise your hand if you want to earn more money at your day job.

Hey everyone, my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  Glad you’re here this week.

I wanted to talk about something that is a little different than the normal focus of the Bootstrap Boutique and that is because most of us, when we start new businesses, we still have a day job, we do not typically just quit your job, cold turkey, and jump into a side business and hope to make some sort of full time income from it.

So something that you need to do if you have a day job, at some point in your career, is ask for a raise.

I know, I know, that makes people incredibly uncomfortable.  But it is so important that if you have earned more that if you have earned more money in your job, that you advocate for yourself to get it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra money to help fund that side business?

At some point, its a conversation you are going to have to have with your boss.  What I want to do today is help you make sure that you are ready to have that conversation.  So, there are a few things that you need to think about before you just go in, sit down in front of your boss and say, “Hey, give me some more money.”

The first thing I want you to think about is did you actually earn the raise? If you just show up, clock in and watch the clock until five and go home, you didn’t earn a raise.  And you’re not going to get one.

But if you earned the raise over the course of the year, if you provided more value to the company than what you took home in your paycheck, then you should be able to make a case for why you deserve more money.

Here’s what I want you to do.

I want you to make it really easy for your boss to say yes.

How do you do that? Well, there’s a couple of things you need to do.

First you need to make sure that you are setting realistic goals.  And meeting them.  Or better, exceeding them.  So these goals need to be actionable and you need to be able to show that you met or exceeded them through the course of the year.  There should be some sort of number tied to them.  Did you save the company money, did you earn the company money, did you increase efficiencies in a process? I don’t know what your job is but there’s probably a million different ways that you can do things over the course of a year that are going to set you up to be able to say, yes, I met the goals that I set for myself at the end of last year.

Here’s another way that is kind of overlooked when it comes to making it easy for your boss to say yes.

You’ve got to get to them before the budget is set for next year.

And this one is a little tricky because not every company works on a calendar year for their fiscal budget so they may be setting budgets for the next operating year now, or it could have already happened, which puts you in kind of a bad place.

When your boss knows that you should earn more money then they can budget that in, but once the budget is set they probably only have a certain number of dollars that they can put towards salary increases for that year.  You want to make sure that you have this conversation with them before budget time or their hands might actually be tied until next year.

You also should ideally have this conversation before your annual performance review.  Because a lot of times and in many companies, that is when your boss tells you what raise you got for the year.

If you don’t want to be the two or three percent cost of living adjustment raise, you’re looking for a five, a ten a fifteen percent raise, if you wait until your performance review you’re too late if that’s the way your company operates.

It’s really important that you tell your boss about all the great things that you’re doing for the company through the course of the year.

Don’t make them rely on their memory of how great you are, you need to make sure that you are reminding them constantly how much value you bring to an organization.

The last thing about this meeting that you’re going to have with your boss is that it really needs to be face to face.

Most people don’t work remotely like I do where I can’t have that conversation face to face, but for most people you can actually get some face time with your boss and this is a conversation that you want to have eyeball to eyeball so you know that they are looking at you, they are listening to you, they are not you know on the computer checking email or thinking about their vacation or something like that.  This is something you want their full attention for.

That can be kind of scary too so something that can really help with getting you in the right mindset to have this conversation is called the Power Pose, and there’s an awesome Ted Talk, I will link to it down in the video description.

Go watch that.

Basically the Power Pose is Wonder Woman, the way she stands in the comic books, you know.  Shoulders back, hands on hips, chest out just very assertive and forceful.

And if you go stand like that, even if you go do it in the bathroom stall or in your office and you shut the door, I mean it’s already kind of awkward, you probably don’t want people watching you and thinking, “What is she doing?”  Just go somewhere where nobody can see you and do that for three for four minutes, you will feel better.

You will feel ready to take on the world. And all you have to do is ask for a raise.

Just a couple of tips to wrap up on how to ask for a raise.  Here’s what I want you to do.  I want you to be really bold in your ask.  So say you’re looking for a ten thousand dollar raise.

Here’s what you do.

First you’re going to prime the pump a little bit, you are going to let your boss know that you would like to have a salary conversation soon.  You don’t want to just dump it in their lap in the middle of your weekly one on one.

Next, when you have the meeting and the boss knows its coming, you just want to be very bold in saying.  Tell them what you want, don’t make them try to guess.  So if you need a ten thousand dollar raise, if you earned a ten thousand dollar raise, you need to say, “Hey, I earned a ten thousand dollar raise.  Here’s why I believe that’s true.”  Make your case.

The next part is the hardest part.  So you just made your case, right?

Shut up.

Just stop talking.

Just stop.

If you’ve ever heard the saying in negotiations that he who speaks first looses, that is true in this case.

Because you don’t want to say, “I need ten thousand dollars” and then be quiet.  And its quiet.  And its awkward.  To fill the space you say, “but I’d take seven.”  Because guess what you just got?  Not ten.

Now we all live in the real world and we know that’s not going to happen immediately, so you’re probably going to need to follow up.

If you’re getting signals from your boss that this is just not in the cards this year then you need to make sure that you are really clear on what you need to be doing for the next year to make sure that there’s more money coming your way.

Maybe your performance wasn’t as good as you thought it was, maybe you were focused on the wrong things and not doing what you needed to do to make your bosses life easier.  Whatever it is, you’ve got to figure that out and go back to the drawing board.

But if you’ve met your goals if you’re focused on the right things, if you’re a rockstar performer at your company, then yeah, you should be able to ask for a raise and get it successfully following these tips.

Alright guys, that’s what I’ve got for you this week.  I hope that was helpful, let me know if you asked for a raise successfully because you earned it, and you got it.  I want to hear those stories.  Also, if this kind of information is helpful for you, let me know that in the comments below also or you can hit me up at twitter, I’m @megloftin and I will talk to you next Wednesday.  Take care! Bye guys!

Jungle Scout Tutorial: How To Find Products to Sell on Amazon

jungle scout tutorial
In this Jungle Scout tutorial, you will learn how to use the tool to evaluate potential private label items.

*Updated: Jungle Scout has a new look, check out the facelift here.

Jungle Scout Tutorial

Get Jungle Scout Here (affiliate link, obviously)

Today we are going to do a walkthrough of how to use the Jungle Scout pro Chrome edition. This Jungle Scout tutorial will help you understand how to use the tool to find private label products to sell on Amazon.

How To Use Jungle Scout

Jungle Scout Pro is a Chrome plug in that you use with the Amazon.com website.  It allows you to easily see the “behind the scenes” sales data for products sold on Amazon to help you make decisions about what you would like to sell.

Jungle Scout gives you estimated sales volume over the prior 30 days, as well as the fees that Amazon will charge to sell your product.  You can use this data to understand if a product will be profitable for you to sell.

Data Tracked in Jungle Scout

  • Product Name
  • Brand
  • Price
  • Category
  • Rank
  • Sales
  • Revenue
  • Reviews
  • Rating
  • Seller
  • Fees
  • Net

 

999 Trick

The 999 trick is a way that you can figure out Amazon sales volume manually, without buying Jungle Scout Pro. It is actually the method that Greg Mercer, founder of Jungle Scout, used before he created Jungle Scout to automate the process for him!

If you have a product that you are interested in, you would need to track it over the course of 30 days and see how many products it is selling each day.

You’re able to do this by adding 999 units to your cart at the same time each day.  Because of a quirk in Amazon’s system, as long as the seller has less than 999 units in stock, they will tell you “Sorry, there are only XX units available.”  This is the number of units in stock.

You record that number in a spreadsheet and do the same thing at the exact same time the next day.  The difference between units is how many were sold the prior day.  Do this every day for 30 days and you will have the number of units sold that month.

This isn’t a foolproof method, a seller could send in more stock half way through the month! But if you want to track a product at no cost, you can get an approximation of the number of sales using this method.

Get Jungle Scout

If you don’t have the Jungle Scout Pro extension yet, what are you waiting for?  Jungle Scout makes your product research time more efficient and productive. Get your copy today (affiliate).

What is Private Label? (RA vs OA vs PL)

What is Private Label for Amazon?
There are many ways to sell products on Amazon – retail arbitrage, online arbitrage and private label are the most popular.

Are you ready to learn a new language?

Hey bootstrappers, my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.

Have you ever noticed how whenever you start a new hobby or go to work at a new company, it is literally like you have to learn a new language to understand what people are talking about?  And that has absolutely been the case for me as I’ve been going down the journey of building a private label company on Amazon.

How to Shop on Amazon

What I have learned that I definitely never paid attention to when I was a shopper on Amazon is that there are three different ways that you can purchase products there on the website.

So the first is just buying from Amazon, which I never had paid attention to and thought that was the only way for a really long time.  So what that means is that Amazon is going out there using their purchasing power to buy products from a company, from a manufacturer, from a distributor, from a wholesaler or whomever and are selling them to you.

But have you ever bought something from Amazon and then you didn’t get the Prime shipping that you are used to, or it came in a box that didn’t say Amazon on it?  That was probably merchant fulfilled, which means that a certain company, again a wholesaler, a distributer, or a product manufacturer is just uploading their catalog of products to Amazon and selling them through to you.  However, nothing is in the Amazon warehouse, its actually still with that company and when they get the Amazon orders then they ship them out to you.  So that’s merchant fulfilled.

Finally there is Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA you’ll see it referred to a lot in the private label community.  So Fulfillment By Amazon is where you have somebody that is purchasing a good, a product, putting a private label on it, and sending it actually to the Amazon warehouse and Amazon acts as first your storefront but also your fulfillment center.  So everything that is Fulfillment by Amazon actually sits in an Amazon warehouse.  So the benefit to that for a customer is that it is eligible for Prime shipping, so you can get it in two days or quicker now that there is that Amazon Now service.  And that’s what I’m focusing on and within that I’m focusing on Private Label.

So I’ll quickly go over the two other ways you can sell Fulfillment By Amazon and then we’ll talk about what is really the meat of this conversation, What is Private Labeling?

How to Sell on Amazon

People can sell Fulfillment By Amazon in one of three ways.

The first being Retail Arbitrage, the second being Online Arbitrage and the third being private label.  So you’ll see those shortened or abbreviated a lot of times as RA, OA and PL.

Remember, I told you we were learning a new language?

Retail and Online Arbitrage

Arbitrage sounds like a really big, fancy name, but all that means is taking advantage of price discrepancies between two different markets.  Wait, that could still be a little confusing.  So let’s say you want to buy a curling iron.  Walmart is selling a curling iron for twenty dollars and Amazon is selling a curling iron for twenty dollars.  Right, so in that case there is no discrepancy between prices.  Say Walmart buts that on sale for half off, so now you have a Walmart curling iron selling for ten dollars and the exact same thing selling on Amazon for twenty.  So someone involved in arbitrage would take advantage of that price discrepancy. They would purchase the ten dollar curling iron at Walmart and then turn around and sell it at Amazon for twenty.  That gives a profit of ten dollars.  Now you’re probably thinking, “Ok, ten dollars, that’s nice but you can’t make a living off it.”  And you’re right.  So usually people in the arbitrage space do not purchase a curling iron, they purchase all the curling irons they can get to from all the different Walmarts that they can drive to in a day.

So retail arbitrage is usually referred to that way, its purchasing something at a local brick and mortar store that you could actually go get your hands on the item and then selling them, that could be at Amazon, it could be eBay, I’m sure there’s some other online markets out there, that are similar, you know, Craigslist.  But you get the idea.

Online arbitrage is really the same thing, its just that the buy and the sell happens online.

What is Private Label?

Alright, but what is Private Labeling, or you may have heard it called white label before?

And if you never knew what that meant, its really just referring to buying some kind of generic product typically, putting a label on it, attaching it to a brand that you have, and then selling it under that brand name.  Many private label sellers, especially on Amazon, are just purchasing purely generic products, putting a label on it, and then turning around and selling it under you know whatever their label or their brand is on Amazon.

Up until recently, people have been very successful at doing that, however the market does appear to be becoming more saturated and with that it means that you’re going to have to put a little more effort into actually improving on products that’s already there.  It’s really not suggested to create something new because you actually don’t know it there’s a market for that, but you can generally take something that’s existing, give it a little tweak, a little improvement and then sell it fairly successfully on Amazon.

Ok so that’s it, I hope that explained it for you, if not, if you still have questions, leave them in the comments below I will be happy to answer anything else that you have as far as “What is a Private Label?” Or if you have questions about the arbitrage space, retail versus online and how you get started in that.  It’s not my specialty but I have researched a little bit about it so I’ll tell you what I know.

Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a video, we post new ones every Wednesday, I will talk to you next week guys, take care!


You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

How to Focus? I Need Help With This!

You know what I’ve been really struggling with lately? ….What was it?

Hey guys my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique, where beginners build businesses.  And I am glad you’re back.  As always.

So, lately, here’s been my problem.

I cannot focus.

A little bit of it has been that, yes, there have been some life changes.  Case in point, temporary housing, all my stuff is in storage, I don’t know where the grocery store is in this town.  Things are a struggle.

Yeah, just getting out of your day to day grind, it is kind of a distraction, and has really made it difficult to focus on building a business.  But also, there’s this, I am trying to start an Amazon business, I am trying to grow The Bootstrap Boutique, for some reason the other day, I decided I needed to do an email course.  I do not need to do an email course.

Somebody in the online world that I really admire is Steve Chou, from My Wife Quit Her Job.  I really hope I’m saying his name right.

So I’ve talked a little bit about his story before, but basically, a few years back, I don’t know how many, a number, he and his wife decided to start an online ecommerce store, because she did not want to go back to her day job after maternity leave.  So she started the store, it was successful, they ran it for a few years.  Once it looks like he kinda hand that under his belt, as best as I can tell from hearing him tell his story back, he decided to start mywifequitherjob.com where he talked about running the online store.  So he did that for a few years, got that up and running and became comfortable with the business of running that blog.  Then he started, its an online course, I don’t know exactly what its called, but its about how to run a profitable ecommerce store basically.

Do you see a pattern here?  He’s taught that for a while, started a podcast, grew the podcast, started a commerce, ecommerce, sellers summit, conference, thank you, thats the word I was looking for.  Started a conference.

So Steve and his family have all these things going on, store, blog, class, podcast, conference.

That’s a lot.

But he did not, on day one, say hey, I’m going to do these five things.

He started with the first thing, got it going, started the second thing, got that going, started the third thing, got that going, and he built from there.

Now I’m already in, I am committed to The Bootstrap Boutique, to the Amazon business.  Honestly, if I had to pick one right now, I think I’ve probably been working more on The Bootstrap Boutique, because I gave myself accountability by telling you every week, Hey, I post a new video every Wednesday, so guess what I do?  I post a new video every Wednesday.

However, I can’t stop working on the Amazon stuff, because then you’re going to be like, what? you don’t even, you’re not even trying to start a business, you’re just starting about how you should start a business, and all these ideas you have in your head, except you’re not actually doing any of them.

Which I think a lot of people in the online world, I think they do that.

But I don’t want to do that, I actually want to start this Amazon business.  But this other stuff is pulling my focus in a really big way.

Like, why on earth did I get the idea three nights ago, “Oh you know what I should do? I should start this email marketing course about this other thing that I did in my life that’s totally unrelated to anything that we’re trying to do here.”

So why did I spend like three hours on Pinterest reading about how to do an email course, ridiculous.  That time is gone, and it was not time well spent.  Because that’s not something that I am going to be able to get to, not this month, not even this year, maybe not next year. I mean, yeah, one day, it would be really cool to do that, I think it could be really helpful for people, but today is not that day.

So why did I even let myself do that? I’m so frustrated.

So I guess it was just my week to vent and to get that off my chest.  You know what we all have these things that we want to accomplish but you’ve got to do the first step first.  You’ve got to walk before you can run.

Cliche, cliche, cliche, but it’s true.

Here’s what I want to know this week, in the comments or on Twitter, How do you focus? What do you do?

I actually do have some really good time management technique that I want to share as it relates to how I bust through so much work at my day job but I have not been successful in transitioning that over to working on the side business.  So I guess maybe I should work on that first instead of telling you how great that is.  Even though it is great, as far as the day job goes, see I’m doing it again, my mind is in a million places.  We got to narrow in, Megan, narrow in.

Hey guys thanks so much for joining me again this week.  Don’t forget that you can always find me on twitter at @megloftin or you can shoot me an email at thebootstrapboutique@gmail.com.  I don’t care how you do it, just get in touch with me I love to talk to you guys.  Take care!

mentioned:
http://www.mywifequitherjob.com

Amazon FBA: Where I am Right Now

New plan guys, we’ve got a new plan.

Hey everybody, my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  As always, glad you’re here.

We have recently completed a move, or actually I should say we’ve half completed a move and we are in temporary housing for the next few weeks, so that’s really fun.  But we will get through it.  Yes I am sitting on the floor, yes my dogs are here and here and will probably make noise at some point during this video.

Here at the Bootstrap Boutique we talk about how beginners can start and build businesses.  Mostly right now I’m talking about myself but I do hope that’s going to change soon.

So what I’m doing is working on starting a private label company fulfilling and selling through Amazon FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon.  There are lots of different people out there talking about Fulfillment By Amazon.

One of those guys is Scott Voelker, he runs a very popular podcast called The Amazing Seller.  And he talks about when you are looking for products to source, that you should follow what he calls the ten by ten by one rule.  Meaning that you can sell ten products a day, profit of about ten dollars each, and thats on one product.  And then obviously you can build from there.

There’s some other guidelines too that people generally try to follow like your product should be small enough to fit in a shoebox, and that’s because of the shipping fees and storage fees that Amazon charges, and also when you are importing products into this country the smaller and lighter weight, obviously the better.

Now Scott talks about that process because it works.  So what do I do? Go and try to find something else, a different way to do things.  Not that that’s bad, I think that the ten by ten by one area is getting a little saturated especially on the smaller products that you would buy online from Amazon, but it does work for a reason and it is mentioned for a reason.

So I had a product I was really excited about, the problem is it was big, or it still is big I guess, that part of it hasn’t changed.  Just for me to have my minimum order quantity or MOQ sent over from China, it was going to be almost a fourteen foot shipping container full of just my product.

Now I was going to take that risk when I was going to work with a third party fulfiller.  Because I was going to have them receive it, repackage it as it needs to be packaged and sent on to Amazon.  However this company has not really shown a lot of interest in this product or my business to be frank.  I got a pricing sheet, I asked some questions, I got the pricing sheet sent back to me.  Now that wasn’t what my question was and so I just got a little frustrated with that process.

Also, the suppliers in China, they don’t play around they are emailing me like every day going, “Hey we need an answer, hey we need an answer.”  And I’ll tell you the truth, I feel awful but I just haven’t responded because in my heart I don’t want to acknowledge that this is not going to be my product but my head knows that this is not going to be the product that I launch with on Amazon.

So what does that mean for me? Well, it means I’m back to square one, back to Jungle Scout, back to looking for new products.

So I really like the niche that I’m working in right now, that I’m looking in because most of the products are disposable, which means that you would reorder them after you have used up what you have which means that hopefully over time if you’re doing it right, your cost of customer acquisition is going to go down, you are going to get reorders on that same product.

So I want to stay in that area, plus I’ve already got my email address set up and all of that, and that would just be one more thing to change, so let’s not do that right? Let’s try to make this a little bit easier.  This is an area where people will buy, I don’t doubt that at all, actually I know its true because I’ve seen the numbers on Jungle Scout and its kind of stuff that I’ve bought for myself anyway, so I already know there’s a market there, I’m not worried about that.  I’ve just got to find something that’s going to be a little easier to get to me.

Also I’m interested in looking at manufacturers here in the United States or maybe Canada or Mexico.  You know, everybody talks about how you gotta go to China because its so much cheaper, so maybe that’s my solution, is finding these other products just here in the United States.  I’m sure that they’re made here its a little harder to find it because you don’t have the clearing house that is Alibaba for US manufactured products, but if I could find that, even if its a little more expensive, the shipping on this other product was going to be so big, because the product is so big and it took up a lot of space.  And you know, I can probably between the balance of the two make something work there.  So that is something that I also want to explore.

Ok thanks guys thanks again for watching this week, I appreciate you just letting me talk it out and get to where I knew I needed to go but I think that we are there now, I think we’ve got a decision so the good news is I can move forward.  Please subscribe to this channel so you never miss a video, I post new ones every Wednesday.

Oh, and you can tweet me, I am @megloftin on Twitter.  That is something that I am trying to be better about, it is not a strong suit of mine but I am working on it and trying to be more active there and trying to connect with like minded business people so definitely find me there if you already know about me here.

Alright guys, have a great week, take care!

Mentions:

www.theamazingseller.com

www.junglescout.com

#DOSummer2016 Challenge Wrap Up

Well this is embarrassing.

Hey bootstrappers, my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.

And I am so glad that you are here this week because we’re going to talk about failure!

Remember this?

Remember a few weeks ago when I was so excited to show you all these little colored in blocks at the end of the summer? And I didn’t even make it to two rows.

So if you don’t remember, that printout comes from Jon Acuff’s Do Summer 2016 Challenge, where you were only supposed to spend fifteen minutes a day working on some task or skill that you want to improve on over the course of the summer.So what I choose to do was learn programming, a little HTML a little CSS through Khan Academy and it just didn’t happen.

So here’s all my excuses.

The last week of June I had a week of travel for work, first week of July, family vacation. So two weeks out of the office, coming back and trying to get everything caught up it was a lot of work and I pretty much worked day and night just trying to get caught up there.  Then the next week I had my son sick so he was home two and a half days and that was a disaster.

So I just never recovered from those challenges and let me tell you the feeling of regret that you will experience when every morning at nine o’clock your phone buzzes about ten times reminding you to do that thing, that you are no longer doing uh, it sucks.

It just turns out to be something I didn’t prioritize.

It is something that I really want to learn to do, to learn how to code, at a very basic level don’t get me wrong.But, turns out it wasn’t a priority. And so I need to take a better look at what I do prioritize because I have busy days, like I know you do.

You can only get so much done.

But you do the things that you prioritize and so I feel so bad that I didn’t finish this challenge, that I have to sit here in front of the twelve of you that watch these videos, (you guys are so sweet), and say, hey I failed.

But I did, I failed.

So if you signed up for the challenge, I hope that you have a paper full of colored in blocks.I hope that you learned something new, that you improved a skill set that you wanted to improve on, but I did not.

Maybe next year.

Hey guys thanks so much for coming back and watching again this week, don’t forget to email me your questions at thebootstrapboutique@gmail.com. Don’t forget also to subscribe to this channel so you never miss a video, we post new ones every Wednesday.  Thanks guys, take care!

Five Weird Ways You Can Make Money on Fiverr

It’s my first top five list, who’s excited?

Hey bootstrappers, my name is Megan and this is The Bootstrap Boutique, where beginners build businesses.

Today I’m going to talk about five weird ways that you can make money on fiverr.  And the reason we are going to talk about this is that I was recently looking around on the site looking for someone to hire to do labels for my Amazon business.  And as I looked around on the site I found some…really weird things.

I don’t know what else to call it.

So you probably already know, but fiverr is a website you can go on and hire people to do a specific task for for five dollars or so.  So on the heading of the website there’s all these different categories that you can choose and the last one is “fun stuff” or something like that.  So I was curious and I clicked, wow.

Basically, here’s what I thought about that.  Don’t tell me that you can’t make money doing something online.  Because people will apparently pay for anything, or at least people will volunteer to do anything, I don’t know exactly how much money they are making from this but hey, if you’re willing to put yourself out there and give it a shot, you can make money online.

So here’s five weird things that you can get paid for on fiverr, apparently.

Number Five:

You can dress up in costume and do a dance, sing a song or recite a poem.

I’m sure there’s all kinds of really practical applications for this, but mainly what I see it as is a way to embarrass your spouse. At work.

Number Four:

You can carve someone’s message into a banana.  This raises a lot of questions, but if you have good knife skills and a lot of bananas, why not?  Give it a shot, see if you can make five bucks.

Number Three:

Someone will pay you five dollar to say pretty much anything in a British Accent.  I know, we are all suckers for British accents, but I’m assuming that you get bonus points or maybe bonus dollars if you are legitimately British.  If you’re an American trying to do a British accent, probably not worth five bucks, I’ve been over to England and spent time there, and they can tell when you are using a fake British accent, as much as I can tell when they think they are speaking with an American accent.  We don’t all still talk like its Saved By The Bell.

Number Two:

You can scream loudly for twenty seconds.  Yeah, that’s probably another annoy your coworker one.  Maybe you have just an anonymous phone call you send out to one of your coworkers because they talk too loud, or they pick their teeth, or they cut their nails at their desk.  I am so glad I don’t work in an office anymore.

Number One:

Ok here’s the number one thing you can do on fiverr to get paid.  And I’m not saying you should do it, I’m just saying you could do it.  You could send someone pictures of your feet.  You know when I first saw that I thought, wha…wha…ohhhh…ohhh.  Look, what you do with your feet is up to you, I will not be sending anyone pictures of my feet, its a little creepy, but there are some people on fiverr making a lot of money doing that.

Ok so there’s five weird ways you can make money on fiverr.  Which means there’s five ways that you can make money online using a skill, or a picture of your foot, you already have.

Hey guys, thanks so much for joining again this week, don’t forget to subscribe to this channel, we put out new videos every Wednesday, that you’ll never miss one.  Also, feel free to shoot me an email at thebootstrapboutique@gmail.com.

I will talk to you next week, take care!

Why I’m Getting Nothing Done This Week

It’s The Bootstrap Boutique Hotel Room Addition!

So this week I am working from the road, I am actually in Lincoln, Nebraska and I do this from time to time, about once a month for my day job I go out and visit with clients in the field.  And what that means is that I am out of my, you know, routine, I’m out of the stuff that I do normally every day and totally off schedule as far as everything in life goes.

So what that means is that there has not been a whole lot of progress in the business again this week, which, yes, is getting very frustrating.  Part of that for me this week is that I’m trying to work with this third party fulfillment company that I talked about last week and I just am not really getting great responses from them.

They aren’t very prompt in emailing me back and I’m like, “take my money!”

The bigger problem, because theres other things I could be working on, is that I forgot my notebook.  I left it at home.  So you guys know, I often hold up my little black moleskin notebook and say, “this has all my thoughts in it, this is where I write down everything that I think about so that I don’t have to keep it in my head, because it gets a little crowded in there and I just put everything down in the notebook.  Well, that’s real life. I wasn’t kidding about any of that.  I really do that and so now I’m sitting her like, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.”

So what I’m really hoping that I can do this week is to get this third party fulfiller to give me a little love back, a little response in email.  All I want to know is how much money I need to send you, because I’ll send it.  And, you know just try to get going and get something started here.  Whatever.

In the meantime, I’m going to be hanging out in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This is a pretty cool town actually, I’m right downtown and enjoying it.

So I will see you next week guys, don’t forget to subscribe to this channel so you never miss a video.  Thanks!

You Can’t Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle

Joe’s going to kill me for this.  He’s going to kill me.

Hey everybody, welcome to The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  My name is Megan, thank you so much for coming back and joining me again this week.

Today I just want to share a profound thought with you, one that I promise you is not my own, it is something that you have heard before time and time again.  And that thought is just this: You can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

Right? Mind blown.

So let’s first talk about that realization and where it came from and then we’ll talk about why that applies to us starting new businesses.  I’ve shared before that I work from home and with that I listen to a lot of podcasts during the day because without that it gets pretty quiet in the house.  One of those podcasts that I listen to is called Stacking Benjamins and I’ve been listening to it for probably a little over a year, maybe a year and a half, maybe a little bit longer than that, actually.  And the guy that runs it, Joe Saul-Sehy, he’s a pro.

If he is watching this, he is laughing right now but he puts a really good show.  However, a couple of months ago he started a second podcast called the Green Room, and on the Green Room, he does a few different things but one of the main things that he does is he shares old episodes of his podcast.  So before there was Stacking Benjamins there was two other iterations, one called   The Worst of the Free Financial Advisor and one called Two Guys and Your Money.

And Joe is brave.  Joe has podcasts awards that he’s won, but he went back and he played episode one of her very first podcast.  The content is still good, don’t get me wrong, they are still putting out really good information.

Stacking Benjamins, I didn’t say it before but it’s really a podcast about money and personal finance and things like that.  And because of his background in financial advising, the content that he and his partner puts out is still really good content.  However, the quality of the show, from when he started, till today, is so different.

So back in the early days of the show, like I said the content was still good but he’s done a lot of upgrades.  His microphone, the sound quality from those early episodes to today is like night and day, it’s so much better now.  In previous episodes there’s these long pauses where I can just picture Joe sitting there going “What do I say now, what do I say now?”  And guests were really bad about that, guests would have these long pauses between their sentences.

So he’s learned how to edit, or he’s hired an editor, or probably a little bit of both.  He also has gone from just kind of getting on air and talking about stuff to now he’s got this whole shitck where he runs his podcast out of the basement, and everyone comes over to mom’s basement, and he’s got his mom’s neighbor Doug that does the intro and the outro and there’s just this whole story that he’s created around this podcast.

But he didn’t start there day one, that’s the point, he really has shown through the Green Room podcast this evolution of what he’s done and how he’s always tried to get better and tried different things and not been afraid to try these other things and it really shows in the awesome show he has today.  And had he never released these Green Room episodes, like, I would have never known, because what he does today is very similar to what he was doing a year and a half ago when I started listening.

There’s been some tweaks and some refining, but it’s really still a lot of the same and so I didn’t know, I just thought they’d always been this good.  And it’s really similar to this video series, you know, my first episodes, are (they’re bad).  The lightings not good, I didn’t know how to edit, there’s a few where I just got lazy and said I don’t want to edit so I did the whole thing in one take.

And I’m not saying they are good now, I wouldn’t lie to you and tell you that, but I think they are getting better.  And as I go through and continue to learn more about how to put out good content, how to market it, how to edit, maybe I’ll get actually some light, it can just get better right? As long as I keep trying and as long as I can keep improving.

And that’s so important for us to remember as we start new businesses and as we grow our businesses.  One, you can not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, my first 10 episodes, or even the one today, to what I will be putting out in a year or two years.  And it’s going to be the same when I go and launch products onto Amazon.

If you guys watched past videos, you know, the first product I attempted to import was a mess.  I got dropped by my supplier because I was a mess.  I didn’t know what I was doing, we’re doing better this time, we’re dragging because of me, I’ve been a little distracted by real life here lately, but you know, its going so much better already.  And that’s going to be true no matter what business it is you are trying to build.

Your first few attempts are going to be messy, they are going to be ugly, but if you keep trying, if you show up and you do the work, they are going to get better.  And that’s what I want us all to remember this week.  It’s super important. Thank you Joe for illustrating it, thank you for sharing that with us, and guys, take care, and we will talk next week.  Thanks!