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Progress Thread Progress Thread: My new journey is starting right now!

Discussion in 'Process / Progress / Execution Threads' started by libertad1312, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    Hello everybody,

    I am 24 years old guy from Germany. Right now I am staying in Bangkok, I have around 5000$ in my bank account and made the decision to start making a good and easy living here!

    My goals:

    By the end of August I want to be able to cover my living expenses. Right now they are around 1500$/month, but I can easily cut them down to 750$/month. No need to hang out on rooftop bars with hot chicks every day...

    By the end of this year I want to make 3000$/month, outsource more and more of my work to be able to focus on getting bigger and working smarter. In half a year I want to be able to invite my family for a great vacation with me and in one year I never want to have to worry about my financial future anymore.

    My history:


    - started traveling with 16 and always wanted more and more
    - after graduating from high school I turned into becoming an online poker pro under pretty similar circumstances than today: I had enough money for the next few months and a dream. The biggest difference was that I was still living with mum. I did love playing it for 3 years until i reached my goals (became a respected regular on certain level) and stopped grinding when it started feeling like a job.
    -I worked half a year on opening a hostel in Germany. Everything was was already set up and ready to go, when I decided that I don't want to be stuck in this place for the next years. I have to admit that the idea of lending money from a bank and making long term contracts did scare me
    - threw the plans in the bin, gave away/sold all my belongings and hit the road for an open end journey. Arrived in Vietnam overland, took a plane to Australia with my last dollars, lived in an airport for a month till I could find a job and recovered from there
    - Moved to a better places, changed jobs for the better and now I have another job I have dreamed before: doing only physically work, I can come and work when I want and 2-3 month of work are enough to finance my lifestyle for the rest of the year. But dreams become boring once you have reached them plus this one was still far away from the perfect lifestyle, because these 2-3 month of work are a waste of time and health

    Well I got to Thailand two weeks ago and the plan was to go to Australia in two weeks to work for another three month. This would give me enough money to invite my family to Thailand. I want to thank my parents for everything they did for me and I need to lead my sick sister out of the rat race in Germany which will destroy her health in the longrun. And I would have still had enough money to comfortably live in Thailand and start becoming in entrepreneur.

    Well, yesterday I got a mail from my boss that she doesn't have a lot of work these days. This was a bit of a shock first, since it makes the plan about inviting my family in october/november impossible. But I believe that things happen for a reason and maybe this was the final kick in the ass I did need to get started.
    Sponsored Ad

    I have always worked on myself and like to be self educated, rather than wasting my time in our official education system. I haven't watched TV for years and since a few weeks ago I even stopped wasting time on facebook. The last two weeks I already figured out everything for my daily life here. I found a nice area to live in, serving all my demands. There is a lot of healthy food around, a great Muay Thai Camp nearby, that I attend 5-6 evenings/week and helps me to relax, stay fit and train a lot of positive attitudes. Also I made a few friends and good sexbuddies. I already cut down my sleep to eight hours, learned a few thai words and worked on faster reading skills. This is a great change if you keep in mind that I would just waste my time smoking too much weed with friends at home otherwise...
    Also it was on the plane to Thailand that I read the book 4HWW and my researches would lead me here and making me ordering the Fastlane book. I didn't know that there is a community like this before.

    The business:

    Earlier this year, together with my ex girlfriend, I started on online shop to sell women dresses overseas. From the homepage to the model pictures we had to learn a lot and made everything ourselves. I haven't hear about outsourcing by this time. Also I did many things in the wrong order, ie. launching a homepage that doesn't appear in search engines, before selling on ebay etc. Anyway, through Etsy and our Facebook-Fanpage we made few sells in the three weeks we put into this project. Also there were two shops, one from the US and one from Australia interested in buying large amounts and an American online fashion magazine wanted to mention us in their magazine. All good signs after such a short time, most of this came from free advertising on Facebook. Then I went to Australia and broke up with my girl, so the whole project died. The few customers were all happy and this is giving me good motivation to carry on, especially since everything is still faaaar away from being perfect.
    I think by finding a cooperative wholesaler for a good quality niche product one big step is already done. One mayor issue in the past was that we could only offer free-size articles, but I already talked to the wholesaler and she is happy to produce in certain sizes in the future and do the shipping for me as well.

    Now, since I want to make a living here, I will more focus on making fast money, than building a brand. Therefore I will wait before adjusting the homepage and start selling on eBay, Gumtree etc. Also I will shop around and try to find other items I can sell quickly.

    Goals until tuesday:

    - order and study the Fastlane
    - read more about the export business from Asia (any advice anybody?)
    - discuss more detailed with the wholesaler, make a good deal to get the new collection in the most important sizes
    - shop around and find other products
    - start selling!!!
    - find a cheaper apartment for the next month
    - decide what makes sense to outsource right now (thinking about taking/editing pictures or writing descriptions since I would have to invest in material anyway and others can do it much better)

    Thanks for reading and feel free to leave any questions and feedback :)
     
    murk01 and Cyberseraph like this.
  2. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    I am pretty happy with the last days. Got up at 8 in the morning (no, this is not normal for me), worked out a bit and went straight to work after breakfast and would only distract myself from it to have some food outside in the street every 2-3 hours. In the evening I either shop around or meet some friends.

    I put 10 of my items on the australian ebay and 20 on etsy. But I am still dealing with the consequence of the "mistakes" in the past. I bought too many different items, that all take a lot of work (different descriptions, measuring, pictures) to advertise them and only make money once. I paid too much attention on having a serious looking homepage (ie many articles), than on making easy money. I am still not sure about the best way here. Right now I have reduced the price and try to sell my old products. Still on a reasonable price and I can leave them as sold out in my shop. Further products will be ordered at atleast 2-3 items per product and more as this works out. Also I will need to get them produced in all kind of different sizes in the near future, since they are always in a standard size which is around S/M and is probably a turn off for too many customers. But again, this will need big investment, which I try to avoid at this stage. So many things to deal with and at the end that results at being average everywhere, instead of being perfect at one place.

    Also there are a few other ideas that won't get out of my head. I already bought another, much easier for selling, product. actually four different ones of a similar kind. Right now I found a young girl on a dating site who like to take pictures (seems pretty talented from what I can see) and she even insists on taking and editing product pictures for the items for free. I only have to make the product description once, since there is huge and not changing stock. So once I get the pics I can start selling them on ebay and amazon and see how it goes.

    Same for another item, that I still have to buy. Those two options could help me in a short time to cover my living costs here, where as I see a much bigger potential (and work) in the first idea.

    Goals for the next two days:
    - update the homepage and get the facebook fanpage running as well
    - advertise in fb groups and on gumtree
    - contact designer to buy more clothes
    - find a faster and still reasonable cheap way to ship items to other countries (average is 10-20 days and really cheap, but i need to find a faster and stll reasonable way to be faster. could absorb a bit of the costs in the price)
    - learn more
     
  3. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    I am happy with the progress. My items are now in Australian eBay and Gumtree (not many views yet), while the stats of my Homepage, Etsy Page and FB Fanpage are better than ever. Also I got good feedback and interests from advertising on Facebook and started using Pinterest. The next sell will just be a question of time.
    Tomorrow I will keep on doing advertisment and on saturday I will see the designer and buy more products.

    Now, since I have updated my Homepage and Facebook Page I can also find shops in other countries that might be interested in buying wholesale. Probably not the best long-term solution, but it would give me some security and money, that I would like to invest to start producing in different sizes, which will help making a lot more sales.
     
  4. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    today t talked to the designer and bought some more products. she seems very happy to work together with me. no surprise, since her products are just amazing but unfortunately she has no clue how to reach the international market. nor do I yet, but I will figure it out...

    since the homepage and facebook page are looking atleast somewhat professional I send mails to big shops and offered them wholesale retail and already got one interest. I am not the biggest fan of this, because long-term I could make much more money selling directly my own brand. But this is the fastest way to make money (which I need to reinvest) and can even help me promoting my brand as well. One shop owner did reply already and told me how amazing the stuff is.

    also I contacted the biggest blogs in my niche. I still don't know how to ask them to promote my blog. i just don't like asking for help, but i realise that it is necessary. therefore I just build contacts and good really great feedback. something like "amazing clothes, i don't even know where i could buy stuff like this". right, that is my point. we can argue weather women really need these clothes, but as a fact they will always make them happy.

    now there are still a few big problems:
    1.) the women still don't know where to find the clothes
    - not sure if ebay is a good marketplace for this. i am using freelance websites to find people who are experienced ebay sellers in their countries and want to sell my clothes under their account
    - facebook. waiting for my 5$ cover picture from fiverr. after this i will pay another few 5$s to get my page promoted on fashion blogs etc. also i made a private account and am posting my products in fashion and clothing groups and trying to build a network of potential customers in my friendlist. got already blocked for 2 days, but i think i know how to avoid this and will try with a few more accounts for certain locations. i will need to learn more about the content of wallposts though.
    - etsy is beside fb the cheapest and fastest way. i see similar shops based in thailand (similar quality of clothes but different style) making pretty good sales there. beside good keywords and product descriptions it is a numbers game: the more products you have, the more visitors your shop gets. i will add one new item every day the next 6 days
    2.) i need to offer different sizes
    - while the products even come with great product pictures they are all in an asian free size, so around XS/S/M which means too many potential customers can't wear them and will get turned off. there is only a stock of fabric withing around one week after the first published product, so in most cases i have to decide if i want to get them produced in my own sizes before get customer feedback. the MOQ is 15, which is okay, but it still adds up and i cant afford it right now. so i still need to stick to the standard sizes till make some sales, preferably large wholesale

    conclusion after this week:

    - the more feedback i receive, the more i can see this getting an international brand. but this is long-term. short-term i need to find a compromise to generate money as soon as possible
    - i enjoy working from 8 in the morning till into the night. could cut my sleep off to 6hours a week. thanks to the healthy lifestyle here i guess. but i still get to much distracted from time to time, like checking mails etc. i need to have more discipline on this

    EDIT:

    I did just check my mails and voila: The first sale on etsy (not the first, but the first since I decided to keep on going with the business)! :) So tomorrow I have to find a shop to buy nice packaging material, reread custom regulations and find the next post shop.
     
  5. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    Things are starting slowly. Made a second sell and a few more will follow the next days. The visitors are slowly but constantly growing. Two blogger in my niche are overwhelmed and will write a review for the test product I have send them and are already helping me on Facebook.

    Also I had a great talk with my manufacturer. She seems to be veeeery happy that I help her to sell her products oversea and is very cooperative. She will even hire a model and is willing to follow all my other wishes. This means I will have perfect product pictures soon, even though right now they are already better than average.

    Seems just to be time question till it is kicking in serious.

    Which is a big problem... Need to spend a lot of money on the dentist and had to pay another big amount of money due to some problems back at home.

    After this I am probably down to 2500$, so I really need to make money fast.

    I might move to a super cheap place next month and live from 300-400$, which I could probably cover by teaching German a few hours a week. Still better then giving up and I can feel that I am close.
     
  6. Bigguns50
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    Bigguns50 170 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Anyone going to jump in on this and give this guy some advice ? Seems he's trying hard.

    What you are doing is not in my area of expertise or experience. Would you post your website, and other places you are selling clothes ?
    Have you read the book yet ? I know you're needing money, but if you focus on great product, and selling it, the money will come.
     
    recon187 and libertad1312 like this.
  7. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    Thanks Bigguns.
    Yes, I could need some advice.
    Right now I am doing from everything a little bit.
    [LINK REMOVED for PRIVACY] is the homepage, which is probably not that important yet, because I make my sells mostly through Etsy and have good potential on facebook as well: [REMOVED BY REQUEST]

    I have received the book 2 days ago and read 80% of it. Will finish today. But I have to say that at my stage it doesn't help that much. A big part is about the question what the slowlane is and why it sucks. I figured this out by myself long time ago, this is why I did start this business even before I knew about the community. Well, wish I had read the book 5 years ago.

    I am sure I have a great product. The Designer makes these clothes because she loves doing them and making people happy wearing. Now it is my task to make them available to the whole world and not only a few lucky people dropping by her local store.

    I have to read more about copywriting and have to find the best ways to advertise on a budget. I should get a review of my shop in a bohemian style blog this weekend and another one the week after. Also right now a guy from a huge facebook fashion group did agree to make one post for me for free to see if it works for me. Hope I can make more deals like this.

    But yea, I would be super happy to get some feedback here. I know that there is so much to do, I just don't know where to set the priorities.
     
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  8. Bigguns50
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    Bigguns50 170 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I don't know much about dresses, but I see my Daughter would love these. I'm going to get my Wife's opinion also.

    First thing that came to mind was scaling. The lady who makes the dresses...does she make them all by hand ? If so, you're gunna need a whole lot more of her kind. In other words, what if you started getting orders for hundreds of dresses, who will make them ?

    I'm going to send your site to a few girls I know for feedback. Of course, American women may think differently of the dresses...I don't know. They look cool to me.
     
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  9. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    Thanks for asking around for feedback. I don't know much about dresses neither, but my ex-gf did and she got constantly asked where she bought these dresses. When I ask around I always get good feedback. Keeps me motivated, but well, between between liking them and buying are miles. But then I guess it is a numbers game. Women just cannot buy everything they like...

    She only does the designs herself but not the producing part. It takes 7-10 days if I want to have made something to order, which should be pretty good. Especially because she makes around average 7-8 new designs every month.
     
  10. Cyberseraph
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    Cyberseraph 90 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Your story is inspiring and you are really brave to do what you are doing!

    Reminds me about myself, when I was 25 years old (I'm from Germany as well) I moved to Australia as a Backpacker. After one year I moved to Bangkok because I knew that my earned AU$ had x4 times more value in Thailand. Bangkok is awesome but there are much cheaper places to live in Thailand. By the way, I also bought 4HWW book back in 2008 at the Kinokuniya store in Siam Paragon.

    Right now I am in Germany but will go to South East Asia in January and I have a similar goal like you (just a different Fastlane road).

    How is the progress with your August goal to be able to cover your living expenses?
     
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  11. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    Hey,
    that's funny, pretty similar story. I even went to the same mall to find the fastlane...
    Tell me when you are here, I'll be around for a while!

    This going to be very close. For now I gave up selling my stuff as a wholesaler and concentrate on building the brand and selling item by item.
    Sells are coming in and more important, the feedback is just amazing! I am learning every day and usually working hard on it from 8am to 2am.
    My plan is to make an update at the end of the month.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. esdornas
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    esdornas 25 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hi libertad,

    I read your Thread with a lot of interest! I am also from Germany, just came back from an internship in China and maybe plan to also try my luck in South-East Asia in the future ;-)

    I am courious about your business and your plans for the future, wish you best of luck with that! Somehow, I could not find the link to your online shop, could you provide that again? Thanks a lot!

    esdornas
     
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  13. libertad1312
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    libertad1312 10 kph

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    Esdornas, I have send you a PM with the link to my shop.

    August is over and it is time for a resume. I didn't do the math, but I probably have missed the goal close. Don't want to waste my time on this.
    However, I am really happy with the first proper month. Most of the time I was busy getting more inventory and make it look better. Now I have a okish homepage , Etsy-shop, Dawanda-shop and Pinterest account that I am happy to show to customers. Still far away from perfect though. Just found out 2 weeks ago that it was impossible to check out orders on my homepage. This explains the six members but no orders... I have got a few nice reviews on blogs in my niche and overwhelming feedback from customers ("you made somebody on the other side of the world very happy" - wow!). Ebay doesn't work for my product but the other platforms will be very helpful on building a brand. I have three different sources for products now and am really good with the main one. She even invite me to her wedding party, which was pretty fun and interesting. When I walk to the entrance with a friend, passing a flyer for the wedding, she stopped, walked back and said "Oh, I didnt know she married to an actor" and just around the corner we could see all the TV and journalists.

    The biggest problem is that I am running out of money soon. That really concerns me. I mean I can make a living, but if I need the profit to feed myself, than it will take ages to grow the business. Especially since the next big steps all cost money (better homepage with SSL and credit card payment and solid webdesign, produce own products in all sizes and take good pictures with a model, try to get paid traffic, set up drop shipping). I just send my boss in Australia a mail to see if I can work there for 4-5 weeks. Just safe 10k$ which would give me 5k to boost the business and another 5k for a living the next half a year or so. Also I am checking out the work as a private german tutor. 2-3h daily would be enough to make a living and the profit could 100% go back into the business while I still have time to work on it. Not sure which road to take yet...

    Lessons learned:
    - I have read it here and in the book several times and did not want to believe after reading 4HWW it, but it is true: You don't get there by outsourcing from day one and being lazy. I was working from day to night and learning the basics about editing the homepage, copywriting, making product pictures, SEO for Etsy/Dawanda and social media marketing and this is just the beginning.
    - Learn by doing. Just take action, start, make mistakes and learn from them.
    - Focus on the needs of your customers. I had to change my mind and understand that you make money if you satisfy I need. Gladly there are many women around the women who can't find a product like mine in there city or anywhere else online.
    - Make goals! Especially goals for the next day and the next 1-2 hours. That helps to work much more productive.

    Things that I need to learn:
    - WHO are my customers? Women who like bohemian summer dresses is not enough. I don't know how yet, but the next month I need to find out everything I can about my customers. Seems like they are older than expected, for example.
    - SEO. I want to learn the basics and see how I can rank for some small keywords.
    - Marketing. I have spend most of the time on my pages, so now it is time to make them popular.
    - Copywriting. I did improve on this, but didn't apply it on all products yet and need to learn much more.
    - Find a mentor.

    Things that helped me to focus:
    - Usually I got up at 8, swim a bit in the pool and start working
    - Make a small break every 1-2 hours and take some deep breaths. We really need this air
    - Eat and drink clean. 5-6 healthy meals (just one time a piece of chicken in the evening) a day and lots of water
    - Start to meditate for 10min. Does a much better job than a 20min nap
    - Go running in the evening and keep on working till 2am
    - Stop using FB and Skype (atleast too much, argh...)

    Next goals:
    - The next month is all about the above goals and they should result in 20 sales, a growth more than 100%
    - Since most of my sales have been to Germany I want to be able to set up a own beautiful homepage and drop shipping there next march (before spring) to become the number one for summer dresses
    - Market in Australia

    Also, thanks to the change of mindset, I discovered a second need that will be an information website. Many people ask for this kind of stuff in FB expat groups so I took action and did open a page for it. Also 40.000 keywords with low competition on the old keyword search (only 1800 with the new one, which I dont understand). Will grow the page and see how it develops and then hopefully build a website soon.
     
  14. esdornas
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    esdornas 25 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hi libertad,

    anything new to know about your business and sucess? How did it go? Could u stick to your goals or how did u update them? Would love to read and hear more from you!

    All the best
    esdornas
     
  15. Cyberseraph
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    Cyberseraph 90 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hope he is still alive and doing well.

    I am already in Thailand since January and Bangkok is not the place to be right now.

    @libertad1312: let us know how you are doing
     

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