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EXECUTION Launching dropshipping / product side hustle

CPHuntington1821

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Feb 15, 2019
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Purposes: Progress tracking of side hustle. Build accountability with this community. Place to store lessons learned.

Background: Read TMF from mid-January to mid-February 2019. Don't remember where I encountered it; likely in another PF thread or book I was reading. Re-read 4-Hour Workweek after that, then Unscripted. A lot to think about.

Current situation: Double-income, four kids. Both of us work for non-profits, both have above average income but not spectacular. Fairly recession-proof, great places to work.

Motivation: Several reasons. First is a "I'll show them" attitude towards family of origin. My family or clan is comprised of poor, uneducated Sidewalkers. Growing up, I was told that I'm too big for my britches, I'll be a logger just like dad, granddad, and uncles; and I shouldn't think that I'm any better than them. Years later, "Hillbilly Elegy" was like reading about my childhood. Out of 14 cousins, three of us finished college and did well. My father had an entrepreneurial bend and did OK as an independent trucker, then independent bookkeeper, and then went bankrupt as a trucking company owner. Lots of lessons there; especially around under-capitalization and human resource management.

Second, work is great but it hasn't always been that way. Leadership changes rocked the boat a few years ago and I became aware that I had no backup plan and I was mimicking my Sidewalk family in terms of spending + debt = income. Not cool. At that point we shifted into the Slowlane.

Third, I want more flexibility in terms of money and time. Doing what I want to do when I want to do it, and being able to help my favorite charitable orgs in a significant manner. Puttering in my garden and helping bring orphans home are two of my favorite things.

Mindset Thoughts: A significant challenge for me revolves around mindset. Challenges include overcoming "paralysis by analysis", and a tendency towards perfectionism. For two months (March-April 2019), I struggled with what I wanted to do. A thread here outlining the differences between building a company and building a side hustle was very helpful and it clarified the choice for me. Let's start with a side hustle and learn things.

Skillset: Information Technology / Accounting background with MBA and Lean Process training. Day job involves Project Management, IT Management, care and feeding of ERP system, maintenance of custom SQL code.

Objective:
Develop a side hustle business that profits $10,000 per month no later than 2022 July. This business should not consume more than 15 hours per week.

Already completed: State registration, Federal EIN, re-arranging personal schedule to free up 10 hours per week. Calendar reminders are set to update this thread every week. Several books about side hustles and small business purchased, read and underlined, notes transcribed into notebook. One dropshipping video purchased and noted.

Next steps: Unclear. It appears that I should just do something and see what kind of gumball I get. Three options look interesting at this point:

1) Find something on AliBaba, see what value I can add, and open a storefront.
2) Pursue a product idea or two. Over the March - June 2019 timeframe, I've had a couple of "I wish someone...", "someone should" moments. One lies in sporting goods, one in RC vehicles, and the other in retail.
3) Purchase a multi-family rental unit. I've been a landlord before and it was a mostly positive experience. This would be the next step up. A couple of my realtor friends think this is a good idea; and in the long run I tend to agree. However, it doesn't match well with my Objective.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the RC vehicle option. What I have in mind doesn't appear to be offered in the marketplace. Not sure why; perhaps it is due to cost or a lack of market. But I think it would be cool, and I want one! Maybe other people would too.

Thanks for reading and comments.
 

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MHP368

the man, the myth, the Pseudo-Apollodorus
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Alright , get crackin
 

MediaManager

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Jul 6, 2019
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Hi CP! I admire your entrepreneurial spirit! Seems like you're on the right track, but caution is in order as you take your next steps. There are teachers who can lead you correctly down the path of successfully selling online (should you choose that route), but as in so many businesses, there are also some slick operators who will want to just take your money and sell you something promising, that they know won't pan out.

In fact, I know a veteran e-commerce educator (he has 25 years experience successfully selling online and teaching others how to build a real online business) who's writing a free e-book that covers--in depth--the type of scams to watch out for. It's sort of a "legacy project" for him, a way of giving back in gratitude for his success over the years.

That said, because I'm new here, I don't want to break the rules by posting a link for how to receive the book. (It seems like a good forum and I'd like to hang out here awhile!)

I'm not sure whether I can receive private messages, but if so, send me one and I'll share some information with you privately (assuming that it's not against the rules to do that. Still learning!)

Hope this helps a bit!
 
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CPHuntington1821

CPHuntington1821

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 15, 2019
5
6
19
Week 1 Update

Done:
Built e-commerce reference workbook. The purpose is to house various "gems" and useful bits of information gleaned from GOLD threads from Biophase, Walter Hays, and IceCreamKid. It is organized topically: Margins, Research, Manufacturing, Definitions, Software Tools, etc. A benefit will be to reduce the amount of time spent searching for a particular topic. I use this approach for books as well.

In Progress: RC vehicle research. Spoke with engineer friend who suggested possible battery options. It appears that the next steps include product validation via a website and designing a prototype. Based on what I learned this week from Biophase, I should also think about branding and accessories. Originally I had two products in mind and now I see that this niche could be quite larger.

In Progress: Sporting goods research. The product I have in mind appears not to exist. I need to either do more extensive research or produce some kind of prototype to validate the concept. Building a prototype shouldn't take too long as it is really just a heavy modification of an existing product. I know a few users of the existing product and will start product validation with them.

In Progress: Retail idea. No meaningful progress here. I did come across a completely unrelated product during a friends cookout that used a concept similar to what I have in mind. I need to buy this product and tinker around with it to see how I can apply it to my idea. It appears promising.

In Progress: Multi-family unit. Minor progress. One of my Realtor friends has agreed to keep an eye out for 4 to 12 unit buildings in certain neighborhoods. A friend owns several apartment buildings and has agreed to meet for lunch to share some of their experiences. A date has not yet been set.

Challenges: Finding time and focus. My primary work time for this is 5:30 - 7:30 AM. I find myself distracted by various unrelated items such as bills, email, random Internet rabbit holes, and so on. To help with focus, I printed out a stack of "My Fastlane Daily" checklists and briefly update them. Ironically, these too can be a distraction if I obsess over them. At this point, I do not have firm monthly goals developed and my "Yearly Goal" is to have $1,000 in sales. The holidays will be here before you know it!

Thanks for reading and comments.
 

Vadim26

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Nov 23, 2018
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Vancouver, BC.
Already completed: State registration, Federal EIN, re-arranging personal schedule to free up 10 hours per week. Calendar reminders are set to update this thread every week. Several books about side hustles and small business purchased, read and underlined, notes transcribed into notebook. One dropshipping video purchased and noted.
Sounds like a good ol’ action - fakery

Don’t get too obsessed with documents / books / courses / videos. In fact, you don’t need any of those until you have a product and a definite plan how to improve it.

This thread probably doesn’t apply to you, but have done wonders for me


Cheers!
 
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