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EXECUTION From PTSD to Product

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Globe-Al, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Progress...
    Not a whole lot of it has been made since I began in August mostly due to the fact I am recovering from severe PTSD that at times prevents me from being able to read more than a few sentences at a time. It took me weeks to finish The Millionaire fast lane but I never gave up and I'm glad I didn't.
    So now I am slowly working my way through Unscripted.
    A bit about myself (Because ...yay backstory)
    I was home schooled in my youth, started college at 15, graduated with an AA at 18 and then Dropped out after 2 weeks when i started after a degree because I hated school and my family already owned a business in the industry.
    I spent a decade working for my family making millions of dollars annually for their company and only being paid $12 an hour.
    They traveled, bought sports cars, properties, toys, you name it. They burned through it all like children.
    I over the years started a few small businesses, but anytime my family sniffed out success they would suddenly need me more and back to work I would go.

    In addition to all that fun I also had to contend with the emotional abuse that dysfunctional families are known for.

    All of this led to crazy health problems and severe PTSD. Bad enough that I resorted to applying for disability because I'm still healing and have debilitating panic attacks. It also lead to my treating my PTSD, which in turn lead to my treatment needing a solution, thus creating my product. So yay, silver lining?

    Reading the book assured me that I do have all the tools to move forward with my own business, in fact most of what I read was already apart of my foundation of thinking.
    My PTSD was hindering my ability to be a workhorse like I used to.

    So for now I am attempting to merge onto the fast with a handicap tag, but damn if I'm not going to keep pushing through! I am currently home bound a majority of my time and the only way for my to escape my prison of PTSD physically is to dig myself out financially and I KNOW I can do that.

    So where do I stand now?
    • I invented a product that solved a problem in the smoking industry
    • I applied for a provisional patent
    • Created a website and IG account
    • I created a flyer and emailed it to about 400 smoke shops and a few distributors
      I had one retailer ask to buy I informed them it was 4-6 weeks delivery and I would contact him for payment then (I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, I was following vague instructions from my buddy who lead me here). Obviously this sale did NOT pan out gee... I wonder why? Derp derp. I then later had a distributor ask me for pricing on 200-300 units. I based the pricing on my current costs and attempted to scale it appropriately but had NO idea what kind of rate to charge and how to break it down per quantity in a way that would not make me sound like a noob. So I replied doing my best, low an behold! They never responded... Again NOT surprised.
    • I currently make my product myself out of my garage
    • I have sales weekly on my shopify store and nothing but positive reviews on my etsy account
    • I have done research and found pricing for manufacturing at a larger scale
    • I have a logo and brand now which I feel I was lacking when I emailed retailers the first time.

    I'm sure I haven't listed everything I have done, but I'm burning out the "I" key and my brain is getting fatigued.

    Whats my next step? Still working on that.
    I'm trying to choose whether to commit myself to selling on my own site directly to customers or to keep pushing for a big break with a distributor and retailers.
    I would like to execute both simultaneously.
    My brain just keeps turning to mush when I try plotting my next move. So for now I am committing myself to education so I can execute wise choices when the time is right.

    My current goal for the week for myself is to write a new sales email and line sheet to begin emailing again.


    And thanks for taking the time to read my words.
    I left all social networking years ago because of my PTSD.
    My product forced me back into it and I am just now getting my feet wet again so I feel super weird and narcissistic writing about myself and product.
    But I know that this is something I have to work past, would you believe while writing this I just heard the ching sound from and shopify sale.

    I'm gonna take it as a hokey sign that sharing all this is putting me on the right track.
     
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  2. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Are you using paid ads at all? Sounds like something where you could drive paid traffic to a lead magnet (like an ebook on the subject) and market through an inbound campaign on autopilot. Or maybe even ads straight to the product itself. At the very least this would let you make sales more consistently than what you might do on a platform like Etsy. That would free you up a bit while you focus on landing those bigger distributors and retailers and refine that part of the process.
     
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  3. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    So my friend who's counsel I went to initially had me run a few adwords to begin with before I started anything.
    I showed him the results after and the costs for adwords were not cost effective for my product because it unfortunately doesn't have its own category in the industry yet. So it wasn't cost effective and he had me switch to contacting retailers directly.
     
  4. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    But I need to reconsider adwords again, maybe it was an operator error on my part and I need to create better campaigns.
     
  5. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I was thinking Facebook ads. Put it in front of people so they can discover it maybe, rather than when they're searching for it. I dunno, any thoughts on this @Andy Black ?
     
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  6. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Because my product is a device used to lighting smoking products FB and IG reject my ads unfortunately.
     
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  7. Jake
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    Jake Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    What exactly are you panicking over? Have you figured out the root cause? Was there a specific event?
     
  8. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Unfortunately there was not a singular event.
    If you want to get technical I had a form of Stockholm syndrome.

    I was a hardass, work horse who could teach themselves anything. I was a license contractor by the time I was 20 who also was doing all of the companies marketing materials, web editing, etc. and then the family decided to open a school. So cue learning to write a curriculum and commence lecturing grown men how to do basic financial and construction math for about 10 years.

    When my health deteriorated I lost my ability to problem solve, organize, couldn’t tell certain bodily sensations apart, or even make simple decisions for myself.

    I’ve spent the last year and half unemployed and fast tracking my health with the assistance of an amazing psychoanalyst.

    So there’s not always a particular trigger any more.
    Now it’s more like if I over focus, if I sit too long, my body is too tense, if the stars aren’t aligned in the heavens just right, my body begins to shut down and either I’m emotionally overwhelmed and I can’t proccess all the thoughts and feelings at once or I get so fatigued that I can’t keep my eyes open and I have to take a nap or face possibly passing out.

    Good thing is I’m past the needing a nap part. Yoga, meditation, or a hot bath help bring me back around.

    The whole thing makes for a frustrating existence at this point in my life (I’m 32), but I’ve come SO far in a year and a half. I know I just have to keep going. I may not be able to push myself as hard as I used to so I’m counting on never giving up instead.
     
  9. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Update time:
    So stars aligned in my favor this past week and I now have $2.5k to us at my discretion to grow my money tree.
    I am still plugging away reading unscripted and am about half way through which is HUGE progress for me. I can feel my enthusiasm increasing my ability to concentrate and focus. It's the little steps right? The echo? Except my echo is just being able to finish page after page.

    I had another retailer inquire for details on my product off instagram this week in addition to having 1 sale a week for the last 5 weeks.
    I also have had 2 more IG influencers who each have over 20k followers ask to promote my product.

    Now I know that the little bits likely don't mean much towards my fast lane plan, they are really great little motivational breadcrumbs in the right direction at least.

    Goals for the week:
    1: Incorperate
    2: Open bank account
    3: Come up with shorter URL
    4: Write direct email/line sheet for retailers inquiring more information
    5: Get feedback on website and consider new direction/layout to increase sale.
    6: Plan content generating bush
    - Set up rotation of influencers who take quality photographs and videos to generate IG content for me to repost and increase marketing and exposure


    I think I should be able to make some progress this week especially since I also managed to purchase a car this week cash. So I now have means of visiting retailers to share my wares. :D

    Things are really looking sunny this week. Time to start tilling and fertilizing the soil for my first money tree.
     
  10. FlipFlops
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    FlipFlops Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Ever try Mind Mapping?
    Edraw MindMaster - Free Mind Map Software for Mac, Windows and Linux
    Even on a blank sheet of paper, it works great for brainstorming or organizing something complex.
    There several different programs, most have a free trial version.
    XMind ZEN - XMind: The Most Popular Mind Mapping Software on The Planet.
     
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  11. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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  12. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    So after a series of FTE leading to realizing that a large part of my PTSD is my choice of staying with my partner of 14.5 years.
    We’ve been slowly trying to separate for the last year but it’s making things financially worse.

    I had my first international order come through last night.
    My sales are slowly beginning to increase which is good and surprising especially since I have been super depressed and not committing myself to it because of my own poor choices.

    So I didn’t meet my goals of incorporating and opening a bank account, though it seems as though it may have worked out for the better I don’t know yet.

    I did manage to spend the holiday weekend contacting influences on Instagram.
    I have 6 accounts wanting to promote my product.

    All my sales are coming from only using two IG promoters currently.

    So new goal for the week is to:
    mail out at least 3 Dispensers to promoters
    Locate wholesale supplier for mini dispenser

    And then start looking at figuring out how to move out and support myself ASAP.

    Realizing youre sick and not getting better partially due to people you surround yourself with is a serious FTE to process.

    Jeeze.

    Existential crisis much?

    *breathes*
     
  13. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    So I finally purchased a new shorter URL that I am able to use as my brand.
    Synchronicity much? Because the following day the company who's product I personally use and design my product to dispense reached out to me on Instagram. They asked if they could send me fre samples of their product because they were interested in doing cross promoting with mine.

    I replied that I was very interested in actually providing free samples of their product with each dispenser sale and that I would like to carry their product in my store.So I can now gain repeat customers wishing to refill the dispenser I created.

    This is really exciting for me because their product is in nearly ever smoke shop I have ever entered. So one can only hope that I may be able to build a relationship with them and gain some connections for distribution.

    *breathes heavily*

    I think my therapist would call this "expansion anxiety" Hah.
    I think my money tree seed is starting to sprout. Time to keep tending to it right?
     
  14. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Thank you for sharing this!
    I ended up getting this app.
    MindMeister: Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming
    It’s helpjng tremendously.
    Thank you again!
     
  15. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Update: Grateful

    First off I have to admit to myself that the reason I am not growing fast is because I keep allowing myself to be distracted by my attachments. I'm still struggling in my personal life trying to find balance between my healing, parenting, co-parenting, and pushing myself to growing my business.

    What has happened since I purchased my shorter URL: www.gothempwick.com ?
    Well two more hemp wick companies have reached out to me asking to work together.

    So currently I have 3 brands of hemp wick wanting to comarket.
    One brand is a largely sold brand manufactured in china brand that is in nearly every head shop I have ever been in. The other two are smaller companies manufactured in Europe or the US who are expanding for larger distribution as well.

    Since my product is a dispenser for other companies products I am essentially turning myself into Switzerland and informing them that I am interested in including free samples of different hemp wick brands with the sale of each of my product.

    This is giving my customers the chance to sample different brands of wick, I am also giving opportunity to other small businesses a chance to be build their brand based on quality. People will be exposed to different grades of wick and commit to what works for them.

    2 of the three companies are on board and now I am just waiting for samples to be sent to me.
    The 3rd brand I just spoke to yesterday and the gentleman I spoke with will get back to me after he meets with his partner.


    I also have continued to have sales each week with my only form of advertising being through instagram influencers pointing people to my shopify store in addition to my still active etsy store.
    Meaning that I really need to step up my IG game if I want to increase retail sales in addition to building my brand recognition.
    So I decided to apply what I have learned so far from reading MFL and Unscripted (I'm officially half way done! Woot!) and applying to my IG problems which is content generation.
    So I decided I needed more quality photos on my site and IG so I posted a craiglist ad looking for a photographer to just wanted to participate in a fun stoner friendly product shoot.
    It ended up working out amazingly and I met a guy who was willing to do the shoot for my offer of $100 and he had a GORGEOUS portfolio. So I took the risk.
    I managed to get two IG models to meet me over at the photographers where he took not only and assortment of product photos but also some amazing lifestyle shots.
    It turned out he actually shoots for some big brands he just really enjoys helping out causes he supports and he loved the idea of my product.
    I am now waiting for him to finish with them and I will be able to redesign my website again to include quality photos.

    Since I had such a positive response of people wanting to be photograph my product I thought I might be able to use the same technique of influencer advertising with no name photographers.
    So I made a new craigslist ad asking for photographers willing to accept my product as form of payment in exchange for content photos that I can post and cross tag them in.

    So I am working on that. I know I cannot generate enough content on my own to post consistently 2-3 times a day so here's to hoping this technique works. I have found 2 people that have reputable IG accounts that are interested in working together so far.

    *takes a deep breath*
    I got this!

    Right?
    Right!

    Just gotta keep telling myself that till it echos. I think these little wins are whispers of echos. Maybe? I sure hope so.


    In other news my mentor buddy reached out to me the other day to see how things were going.
    I joked that hell must have frozen over since he never touches base with me first. ;)
    We caught up a bit, he is now responsible for a small village within a large search engine.
    I still spent time trying to convince him to smoke a bowl with me one day. :p
    I gave him the update on my business progress and he was really positive and gave some additional guidance. While I already know in my gut that I am on the right path, it was really nice to hear his positive reinforcement of my efforts.



    After reading MFL at his recommendation I have a little more respect and understanding of how and why he does the things he does in addition to how to values his time.
    Knowing that what little time he makes for our friendship must hold quite a bit of value to him if he deviates from his own fast lane to fraternize with me.

    So I have to say thank you to @mjdemarco not just for writing the book which which is helping with my money mindset, but for writing a book that is helping me better understand my old friend so I can be a more understanding and supportive friend to him on his path.
    That's a growth that is more valuable to me than any dollar amount I will ever make.

    Thank you, truly I am grateful.
     
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  16. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    So I created a new FB page and attempted to run an ad.
    It was approved and then I noticed I wanted to reach a broader audience so I adjusted it.
    When it was reviewed a second time it was not approved. So I applied to appeal and they rejected me again.
    Any thoughts?
     

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    Fpm9 Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I had ads not approved for no reasons IMO ( offensive language if I remember right ), I changed a few words on my ad and they approved it.
     
  18. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Had a meeting with my mentor last week to discuss manufacturing options and next steps.
    He seemed pretty impressed at the progress I have made considering my extremely limited budget.
    I managed to pick up 3 l Instagram promoters who each have over 100k followers. 2 of which have offered to help with hosting giveaways of my product on their accounts. I haven't haven't even hosted a single give away to the public yet.
    All my sales are coming from just sending samples to promoters and posting my own content.
    So now that I'm getting more of that positive feedback I'm moving forward to cause my product to pull.
    At my buddies suggestion I have added a page for wholesale to my page that lists my terms as net 45. That it appears the value of the product sells it's self so if I give low risk terms I will begin luring wholesale accounts rather than just small sales.

    Oh, I am officially stocked in another online store. So that's a neat feeling.
    We traded product, I stock theirs, they stock mine, win win.
    I already have had a customer add their their product to their order when purchasing mine. So increase in sale at checkout. Woot!

    Now my new home work assignment is to get my product onto 20 store shelves within 3 months.
    Essentially that was the goal he gave me last time. I just lacked the funding to move forward appropriately.
    Now that I am selling regularly and have saves up a small amount to invest into it myself. I am incredibly motivated to move forward which is wonderful.

    Since my personal life aspect is still a roller coaster and I will be moving twice within the next 5 months. Having this provide positive movement forward has been great. Even my partner from whom I am separating from has been really supportive and positive of this venture, I am so incredibly grateful.

    I feel like I need to fasten my seat belt or something...
    Like stuffs gonna keep picking up steam once I'm not longer in the same house with my partner.
    All that personal space to heal and work.
    It's going to be interesting and scary at first I'm sure.

    That's okay though.

    I got this.

    /stonedramblings
     
  19. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Well... I haven’t given up yet!

    Things are still slowly progressing.
    Instagram and YouTube went ahead and closed a substantial number of popular influencer accounts, and so did my sales.
    This was also around the same time I redid my website and created a more cohesive brand identity.

    I decided to put stronger efforts into finishing reading unscripted.

    While that was unfortunate I had also expected it to happen, so I focused my efforts into making myself more appealing to retailers.
    I designed a new logo, purchased UPC company codes, incorporated, ordered branded hang tags, and rewrote the copy for the website.
    Some other more action faking things I managed to get done was find an artist to create art inspired by my product to sell as stickers, designed a graphic myself to place on Merch, and ordered a few shirts an had them print one of the designs on two denim jackets, which I get compliments on frequently.

    I noticed this past week a local head shop has been liking my posts, so on Monday I went over and left samples for the owner to check out.

    I also managed to get the number for the purchasing department to a chain of 17 stores in Ga.
    I’m going to see how my experience goes with this first shop tomorrow, once I get a better feel for the question they ask and what they are looking for from me I’ll pull the trigger and try To land those 17 stores in on shot.
    Fingers crossed.
    I’ve established 45 days terms in hopes of giving them an offer they can’t resist
     
  20. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I have always found when selling B2B that providing progressive discounts for various payment periods works well.

    For example: Payment within 7 days: 7.5%
    Payment within 21 days: 5%
    Payment within 30 days: 2.5%

    It is important to make it clear that the terms must be strictly observed or the discount will be disallowed, and the amount deducted will be regarded as overdue once the normal 30 day account period passes.

    Obviously I was working on high margins and the discounts didn't hurt.

    On the few occasions when I was approached by retailers wanting extended terms, even 45 days, I would not accept their orders except on my terms. I did not want to operate as a bank.

    Walter
     
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  21. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    The struggle is real.
    I allowed my PTSD and depression get the best of me for the last month and a half.
    I refuse to give up, gotta keep pushing forward.
    Hopefully soon I will get my bearings and will be moving forward again. I am thankful that this time around I still am maintaining my faith that I will succeed even if I stall out, I just have to make repairs and get back on my path again.
    I need to get my brain out of this vortex of confusion. I'm to the point where I can't even locate where I am confused about, so it's just been unending whining in my own head while trying to problem solve as much and as best as I can.
    /rant
    /whine

    Even with all the struggles and lack of movement, I really am proud of all that I am accomplished so far and even when I stall being able to look back and still feel a sense of accomplishment though I am NOWHERE near where I want to be feels pretty darn good.
    As the Dory says "Just keep swimming"
     
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  22. AllanB
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    AllanB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    @Globe-Al
    Are you profitable in your business currently?

    Very smart (really better than an additional late payment penalty most of the time inapplicable).
    I am sure it's possible to define pattern of customers this way and bill more efficiently.
    Thanks for sharing this idea.
     
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  23. Globe-Al
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    Globe-Al Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Short answer currently, no.

    I had been when I had sales.
    I have a great mark up since I manufacture my own product.
    Circumstances have slowed my sales to a near hault and I am trying to find solutions but my health set backs have slowed down my finding a proper answer and implementing it successfully.

    I know it’s all my own doing and lack of focus and confidence that is preventing me from really breaking through and moving forward again.

    It’s lots of circular thinking which I’m trying to not get lost in.


    I feel like such a poser posting my progress here since my 100% feels like -5% of what I should be doing to succeed.

    *headdesk*
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  24. Mattie
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    I think this is the key here. What kind of recreational sports do you do or fitness. Since it's summer time, it might do you some good to get outdoors, and whether it's gardening, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, running, wind surfing, kite boarding, or mountain biking, or whatever you prefer, it helps you quiet the thoughts down, also gets the brain chemicals naturally working, and teaches you mental strength, helps with emotions, and the nervous system. Any type of water sport is kind of like water therapy, so it helps you in many different ways.
     

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