Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Online Arbitrage is my favorite way to source products. It has allowed me to scale my Amazon business to 7 figures my first year doing it while working at home. All you need is an Amazon Seller account, a credit card, and a computer. My tips are not going to sound as exciting and hyped up as other tips because I don’t want to get you hyped, I want to get you results. That process isn’t as sexy as getting you all fired up. Once you’re ready follow my 10 sourcing tips and you will be ready to go.
1. Start out sourcing products manually first. You need to understand things like sales rank, matching products by title and UPC, why UPCs can be different at the source and Amazon, analyzing reviews for variations, and how to read a keepa graph. Most importantly it helps develop realistic expectations.You need to have an idea of how many items you will look through before actually finding a winner. If you jump the gun and go straight to using a tool like Tactical Arbitrage then you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Sourcing software is powerful. If you don’t have an understanding of the things mentioned previously you are going to feel like all you are finding is items that are not good to buy.
2. Give yourself time to learn the game. No one just jumps into something and gets it right away. Allow yourself time to develop an understanding of how this works. I suggest setting aside at least 10 hours of dedicated training time.
Practice the following:
Google search titles on Amazon and find multiple sources
Reverse that process and search titles from online retailers and locate them on Amazon
Right click on an image and Google search images to locate potential sources. Once again reverse that process.
Understand what the Buy Box is, how it rotates, and how to price competitively to optimize your time in the Buy Box.
This allows you to develop an understanding of how a sourcing program will work and scale the work you can do. It also allows you to develop a sense of “mental filters” when it comes to sourcing products. The filters can then be applied to the software to have it filter out undesirable items. The other benefit from this practice is you’re developing your skills when it comes to matching items up quickly which you will still need to do, even when you use a program like TA.
3. Ok so you’re getting an understanding of how to find items, match them up, and gain an understanding of how quickly they will sell. Next up is to get good at deal hunting. Take a minute to think about your favorite store……..got it? Ok, now I bet you know the ins and outs of that store, when they have the best sales, where to be on the lookout for sale notifications, how to negotiate discounts, the best cashback site, and even where to get discounted gift cards. Those are skills you developed whether you realize it or not. Take those skills and apply them to every store you come across online. Get on the phone and ask about discounts, sales, and how to stay in the know when it comes to these things.
4. Deal hunting part two. Use google to locate sites that track deals across the web. Google is your best friend here. Grab a large coffee, search “deal sites” , and let the caffeine fuel your journey down the rabbit hole.
5.Create a brand new email account. All those sites you found have email lists. Sign up for them and have them go to your new email account. Only use this email for that purpose.
6. Check that email daily for special email only deals. This is a great way to find discounted items. This can help set you apart from the competition that missed out on these short time deals.
7. By now you will have a good understanding of how all this works if you have been doing it consistently. Time to step your game up. It’s time to take Tactical Arbitrage for a test drive. Use code MYG10FREE for a 10 day trial. Please make make sure you use the trial time to its fullest in order to give the tool a fair shot.
8. Source more expensive items. This is one of my personal favorites. Wanna limit competition? Buy items that cost over $500! Now I know this one is not for everybody but you don’t have to go as big as $500. You could even start at $100. Most sites, including Amazon, allow you to filter items by price. I suggest using a reverse sourcing method (starting on Amazon) and filtering by price (on the left hand side). Next skip over items that are sold by Amazon. Keepa will tell you if an item is sold by Amazon, just hover over the title, the keepa graph pops up, and you can tell if Amazon is on the item. If yes, move on, if not, then look for the source using your skills from tip two. There are also various tools on the market that will let you pull a csv file from an Amazon page and exclude items sold by Amazon. Jungle Scout and Tactical Arbitrage + Storefront stalker will allow you to do this.
9. Once you have had some success finding items I want you to write it all down. You have developed a process for sourcing now. You need to develop a system that someone else can be plugged into and be successful with your guidance.
10. The next tip is to hire a virtual assistant, teach them your process, and repeat the process with them starting at tip 1. Now it is time to start thinking about capital and how you are going to get funds for all the products you will be finding.
Meditation has been somewhat of a hot topic these days as more people have become vocal about the benefits. I also think it’s one of those things that people talk about but never actually give it a shot.
Simply put meditation is one of the most effective methods of dealing with stress, improving focus, and overcoming other obstacles in your life. It is backed by science and it is also FREE!
I think a lot of people take it for granted because it is free and easy to do, myself included. If I have to pay for something I am more likely to stick to it but thats just me being stupid.
In 2017 I was feeling pretty stressed. We were switching up our business model, cash flow was terrible and I felt like I was starting all over. My stress over money led to stress at home. I started getting very irritable and everything was bothering me.
The house was never clean enough.
Laundry was always piling up.
I never wanted to cook but didn’t want to spend money going out to eat.
Business was never good enough. My work was never good enough. Nothing was ever enough.
Then I started having trouble sleeping which led to other health issues.
Ok, enough was enough. I made the decision to give consistent meditation a shot.
I decided to keep things simple and signed up for Headspace. I told myself that taking 10 minutes a day was well worth the potential benefit. I experienced the benefit the first session. At the end I could just feel the relaxation over my whole body. I felt calmer, relaxed, focused, and in control of the anxiety that led to all the issues mentioned previously.
It was not an instant fix though. The issue still came back but the longer I kept at the better I got. Meditation did not make my concerns away. It just gave me better control over them when the feelings came into play.
It was like I had more space in my mind between the time of the feeling and my reaction. I had time to think about it, analyze it, and act accordingly. I was no longer reactive. I became proactive.
I encourage everyone to give meditation a shot. It has helped me not only emotionally but also mentally. My ability to focus at work has greatly improved since adopting a regular routine.
If you decide to go for it add Shucetee (me) as a “Buddy” on Headspace and we can keep each other accountable!
What things do you think meditation could help in your life?
Can you spare 10 minutes of your time today to make it better?
In life we are taught to seek perfection and the school system gives us a mindset telling us to avoid mistakes, to avoid pain, and to avoid things that make us feel comfortable. Well, I am here to tell you that is bullshit.
One of the biggest struggles I ever faced in life was un-learning all the bullshit I was sold in school. I thought I had to always follow directions, alyways had to get things right and to avoid any choices that might lead me to make a mistake. This mindset that was being forced on me was in direct competition with my natural ambition.
I wanted to do great things for myself but I was being taught how to be the best person at following directions. I was being taught how to be a great employee but thats not what I wanted for myself. I hated doing what other people told me to do.
I wanted to be able to go surfing when the waves were good.
I wanted to be able to hang with my friends and have a good time.
I wanted to be able to spend time with my family on my own terms.
I did not want to have to request time off to do any of these things I loved to do.
How in the hell would I ever be able to live a life that though? Go to school, go to college, get a job. That is what I was taught. Problem was that there was no part of me that wanted any of that.
I had to seek The Road Less Traveled (great book) to get uncommon results. When my world came crashing down at 19 I was thankfully forced to walk a different path. I had no idea what the destination would be but I took it one day at a time and am happy with where I ended up.
I came to see my personal struggles as a blessing. I was grateful for the trouble I got in, grateful for the drug problems, and grateful for all my struggles. When you look at things from a postion of gratitude it changes everything.
That is what opened my eyes to all the bullshit around me. I forced myself into a situation where my world was shattered. The beauty in that is that now I was able to rebuild it my way, on my own terms, and I was determined to do it differently.
Now a days I see pain points as opportunity. Weakness in the gym? Thats just an opportunity to get stronger.
Found something in my business that is losing us money or taking too much time? Great! An opportunity to be more efficient!
My son having issues with something in school? Awesome, what a great learning opportunity for him!
Weakness is nothing but an opportunity for growth. It gives you something to focus on. It forces you to get better. So often we dont realize we have something to work on becuase we are comfortable.
When we get out of our comfort zone the magic happens, the growth happens, and we are able to exercise our true potential.
What situation in your life makes you uncomfortable? What is is trying to tell you? What is on the other side of that discomfort?
Mindset, it changes everything. Mindset is what allows people to go through tragedy and come out of it shining bright, ready to take on the world. It is also what leads people down a darker path when they encounter tragic situations. Have you ever asked yourself why two different people can go through similar situations but have different outcomes?
If you are reading this right now I imagine you are one of two people. Either you have been somewhat successful and are looking to take things to the next level or you are going through somewhat of a tough time and looking for a way out. No matter which side of the coin you are on, working on your mindset is a good idea. How do you do that though? What does that look like?
Proper mindset starts with realizing the potential you have within yourself. Realizing that everything you need to suceed is within you, not outside of you. It has nothing to do with someone else or something else. It’s all you! As humans we are all incredibly blessed with the potential to overcome any situation. How do I know this? Because we have examples of people who have overcome their struggles, failures, and tragic situations. If they can do it, you can do it!
Viktor Emil Frankl ( 1905 – 1997) – Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, devoted his life to studying, understanding and promoting “meaning.” His famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, tells the story of how he survived the Holocaust by finding personal meaning in the experience, which gave him the will to live through it. He went on to later establish a new school of existential therapy called logotherapy, based in the premise that man’s underlying motivator in life is a “will to meaning,” even in the most difficult of circumstances. (Source https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/viktor-frankl/)
Stephen William Hawking (1942 – 2018) – In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. (Source http://www.hawking.org.uk/)
Bethany Hamilton (1990 – present) – American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released. (Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BethanyHamilton)
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – present) – Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in inner-city Milwaukee. She has stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14; her son was born prematurely and died in infancy.
Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) – was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the lightbulb
These are real life super heroes my friends. People that overcame what some would say is impossible. People that never gave up no matter what. This is the power of mindset coupled with hard work.
Personally I had to overcome a poor mindset that was created through a lack of direction in life as a young man. This lack of direction led me to not placing much value on my life in the world. I had no meaning, I had no role to play. I did not think I was important so I did not care what I did. I had no respect for myself or anyone else. I further poisoned my mind by constantly using drugs and alcohol which dug me further into a hole. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom at the age of 19 that I took a hard look at my life. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was ready for a change. Thankfully my trouble with the law landed me in jail for quite some time. The drugs could no longer numb my mind and I was given the opportunity to get better. I realized I was ready to do things differently, but how the hell would I do that? I had no idea what different looked like, what it meant, or how to do it. After jail I was forced to go to inpatient rehabilitation followed by 2 years in a sober living house. This is where I learned how to live a life without drugs and how to operate within the rules of society. Those 2 years are a story in itself and I will share that story in a different post. What was important for me to realize is that the drugs were not the problem, they were a symptom. The problem was I had no direction in life as a young man but I was ambitious. I wanted to do great things but had no idea how to do it. Eventually, I lost faith that I could do it. To numb the pain I turned to drugs and the comforts of the life I already had, even though I did not like it. After all, once an addict, always an addict, right? NO! That would not be my story. I refused to let my past dictate my future and I was determined to walk a path that led me to a place I wanted to be in life.
When my journey started my mindset was garbage. I did not believe in myself so people told me they believed in me. They would say things like “Hey, do you trust me?” I would say “Ya sure, I do” and they would say “ok, well I believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself, so just trust me”
As I surrounded myself with people who had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish I realized 2 things:
1. There were people that overcame worse situations than mine.
2. If they can do it then I can do it.
I came to believe in myself because I had living breathing examples of people around me.
When you are working on your mindset the first step is realizing that you can do whatever it is that you want to do. There is nothing new under the sun. I know I can accomplish things because someone else has already done it. The deciding factor is if I am willing to put in the effort to make it happen.
I will be writing a lot more on mindset and sharing specific actionable things. There is so much I can write on this because it took me 6 years of working on myself to get to a point where I truly believed I could accomplish the things I wanted to do.
Just know that step 1 is believing in yourself, if you can not do that like I could not then believe in someone else and understand if they can, you can. That is your mustard seed. That is the seed that you must nurture and let grow into something big and beautiful.
For now, I will leave you with a couple questions and would love to chat with you about any questions you have when it comes to this topic.
Is there anything in your life you think you can not do?
What do you think is holding you back?
Have other people accomplished what you want to accomplish? What is the difference between you and them?
Feel free to share your story here. I am certain there are others out there just like you.
What do they have in common? The gym is a great place to build the habit of setting goals, actively pursuing them, and tracking progress. Accomplishing goals leads to well…a feeling of accomplishment which makes you feel better about yourself.
Hey Nick, what about the pizza part though, we want pizza 🍕
Well I used to push myself in the gym extra hard so I would feel better about eating too much, not a good idea. When they opened a Jets pizza near my house I used to go in pretty hard on the golden brown goodness that is their turbo crust. All that parmesean garlicky goodness expertly outlining the deep dish body of pizza 😋….Mhhhmmm… to put it bluntly I ended up sprawled out on my living room floor bloated like a beached whale and thought I was going to pop like a balloon.
No amount of gym could fix this, or could it 🤨…
The gym has been a constant in my life since I was 15 years old. It was a place where I could go that allowed me to easily live in the moment. As the years went on it was just that, a place to get away from all the bs in my life. There was no structure to it, no goals, no routine, just iron. As I got older that really did not cut it anymore, progress halted, and I got bored with it. My relationship with the gym faded but I still stayed pretty active.
When I really decided to make some changes in life I learned about the role that goal setting can play when it comes to feeling better about myself.
Back to the gym I went. I could set a goal and go accomplish it today, if I set it up that way. Then I set long term goals. Dead lifting double my body-weight was that long term goal.
So I started to learn about things like progressive overload, time under tension, ideal rest periods, proper from, the importance of sticking to a program, and tracking progress.
Going to the gym is a great thing to do. Exercise is great. Most people think of the gym in terms of how they look or want to look. What you do not hear a lot of is people discussing the mental benefits of the gym. There is solid science out there that explains how exercise effects us emotionally and mentally.
Not only that but you can use it as a tool to teach you how to set goals, manage expectations, hold yourself accountable, and track progress. These exact same things are critical to entrepreneurs. Honestly they are critical for everybody, no matter what you do for a living. We all have goals whether your realize it or not. We all have expectations too.
Its best to keep track of your goals, set realistic expectations, and track your progress. The idea of something I am working towards keeps me motivated every day. The milestones I hit in life remind me that I can accomplish the goals I set for myself.
Wanna get healthy but can’t imagine life without cookies, cakes, pizza, and all the other foods so many of us love to crave?
Well here is a crazy idea. Don’t do it. Don’t put the cookie down bro.
This is a little psychology trick for those of us that have a hard time changing some things in life.
When we think about things in terms of adding, not subtracting it just seems easier in our mind. Check this out:
Mean trainer: “Hey man you gotta stop eating pizza for dinner three times a week. You need to start eating chicken breast, broccoli, and white rice and don’t cook it with butter” 🤨
Trainer that gets it: Hey man, don’t worry about what your eating right now. Here is what I want you to do: For the next 7 days I want you to have a protein shake every morning. I want you to get 30 grams of protein each morning before your first meal. All you gotta do is shake it up in this bottle with water. What flavor you want? Chocolate Peanut Butter? Right on man, here ya go!” 😀
Now check this out. After 7 days you have more energy, less sugar cravings, and maybe you even notice your muscles have more shape. You go back to the guy and say “Hey man, I feel a lot better just by doing that, what else I can do?”
When we feel better, we make better decisions. This starts to shift our mindset and will boost willpower. Once this happens we can start considering taking some things out of our lives. Instead of pizza 3x a week, we drop it to 2, then 1
All while adding in new habits at the same time.
One year later all these small changes add up to something huge that will last a lifetime.
Dieting is one of these most difficult things to do these days. We have way too many choices, information overload, and no one can really agree on what is the best diet. What makes dieting so hard is it is also tied to emotions. We will eat a certain way based on how we feel. It can be tough to get control of that.
Typically we make it to hard. We try to give up everything at once. We begin to imagine a life with no oreo cookies, cheesecake, and taco bell. NOOOO!!!!
But it doesn’t have to be like that. The better way to go about is to ADD things to your diet. Just forgot about taking things out, for now.
As far as the best diet? Well that really depends on you, your goals, and most importantly what you will stick to. If you have already applied knowledge in this field then in most cases the best diet is the one you see yourself sticking to.
For most of us following a way of healthy eating has more to do with the habits associated with eating, like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. You can’t just eat healthy.
You have to shop for healthy food.
You have to know how to read labels
You have to know how to cook
You need the right tools to cook
You need time to cook
Maybe you need to meal prep
Maybe you need to count calories
Cooking healthy typically require more cleanup so you have to make time for that
Got kids? Hmmm….shit just got more difficult!
These are all the things you are getting yourself into when you say “I am going to eat healthy”. It’s not just eating and if you don’t take time to figure out these habits then you will most likely give up and go back to your old eating habits. Once you tackle these habits then it becomes easier to take your health to the next level.
Now you can view diets as tools to achieve your goals.
Wanna lose weight with minimal exercise? Going Keto is a great choice but don’t think about doing the Keto diet before getting comfortable with measuring calories (keto flu anyone).
Wanna pack on some lean muscle? Great! A high protein diet is great for that. Where you gonna get that protein from though? How much protein have you been consuming now? Not sure? That’s ok, start with 1 gram of protein per pound of your weight.
Need to lose weight? Why? What is your reason for wanting to lose weight?
Whether people realize it or not they utilize diets as tools. Tools to accomplish things they want done. It’s a powerful tool and each diet should come with an instruction manual but they don’t . People see the results, not the process. They never master the habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle.
Once you master the habits then it becomes easy. You start to enjoy what you are doing because it becomes a part of you. It becomes easier because you come top enjoy whats on your plate rather than hating it.
Now there are some things that can help you get off to a god start. Changing the way you eat is not easy but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be easy if you’re up for the initial challenge.
If you have decided to try dieting then I encourage you to develop a plan. Ask yourself:
•What is my goal for my diet?
•If weight based goal how long do I want to take to achieve it? Is my choice realistic?
•How do I want to feel while on this diet?
•Am I able to exercise? If not, why? If yes, how often?
•Is this a diet I see myself following long term?
•What eating habits do I need to give up? How will I give those up? Once a week, all at once, or once a month?
•What skills do I need to work on to make this diet simple to follow? How will I develop those skills?
Once you have a plan you can then determine how you will conquer that plan.
This is why there is no one diet for all of us. We are unique. We all have our own lives, our own goals, and our own amount of time to work on ourselves.
You need to to do something that works for you, not someone else. Just don’t bullshit yourself. You deserve better.
So you decided an LLC is right for you? Creating a Limited Liability Company can seem like a daunting task. When you first research it you will be flooded with offers by companies like Legal Zoom to do it for you. I just checked on this and it will cost you a minimum of $149 to have Legal Zoom do it for you. Some other companies advertise it as being only $49. You can do it from home in less than 15 minutes. Now if you’re an entrepreneur with multiple businesses and little time then ya, go ahead and out source that task. In my experience most new Amazon sellers are not in that position and they are trying to save as much money as possible. So lets save that money!
I am going walk you through an example of setting up an LLC in the state of Virginia as if it is my first time doing it.
1. Search “How to start a LLC in Virginia”
2. Skip over the ads and results until you see something more unique than the other results. In this case it is “Virginia SCC – Office of the Clerk – Business Entity Forms” Fancy right?
3. Click on that link and you come to the Forms and Fees page, click on Limited Liability Companies
4. On the next page your want the form titled “Articles of Organization” then choose the option “Form a Limited Liability Company”
5. Ok, now you’re in and you just need to fill out the requested information. You are going to need your business name, registered agent (this can be you), your principal office (place of business) and your signature. In Virginia there is a filing fee of $100.
That’s it! This process takes about 10 minutes and is super easy to do. Just replace “Virginia” in Step 1 with whatever state you are trying to file in. Each state has their own set of laws when it comes to putting together a LLC. Make sure you pay attention to what is on the website.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can always contact your state for assistance. There should be a contact number somewhere, use it if you have questions. In my experience when it comes to the states and taxes they are always very quick to help.
Another piece of advice I have is that you should not use your home address for the LLC. If you do so you could potentially negate the limited liability aspect of of the LLC. If your LLC can be tied to your personal assets in any way then that could leave you personally liable for any debts tied to the business. If you do not have a place of business I suggest getting a private mailbox from a local UPS or the USPS. Most of them have ones that show up as a street address and not a P.O. Box.
Also, one of the benefits of having an LLC is you can choose to be taxed as an S-Corp which allows you to put yourself on payroll. This is what I do for myself and my wife. We both get a check every two weeks with taxes taken out. It makes things easier at the end of the year. I highly suggest speaking with a state rep about this and make sure you can setup your business in that way. Setting up payroll is a little more difficult than setting up the LLC but can still be done online. I suggest using Gusto to do your payroll service.