February told me that building up a business on your own can be an extremely stressful thing to do!
You might think that being able to work on your own, in your own time, from wherever you want would be the dream lifestyle, however, there are always downsides, which can have many faces:
Of course there are plenty of case studies out there of people earning heaps of money from online work, successful blogs, dropshipping empires and various ways to make money, but the truth is, unless they were really lucky, they've actually put a lot of work into it.... there really is no golden ticket!
When things aren't going as smoothly as you'd like then you start to think whether you're doing the right thing. You'll probably find that most people who you know won't really understand what you are doing so you can only turn to your digital friends and experiences from others.
The important thing to do is to keep going until you've really exhausted all avenues.
Join a mastermind group for support, reach out to Facebook groups and online communities and you'll generally find a helping hand to point you in the right direction and give you the encouragement you need.
I was intending to go down to a 4 day week this year, however, my lovely bosses have told me I can't do this just yet.
Whilst I kind of understand as it's a busy time at the moment, there will always be some kind of reason not to do this, so it's really infuriating and that extra day to focus on my business would really be beneficial.
Again, don't let these things beat you and try to find a way around obstacles instead of blocking you.
For example, this refusal has meant that I am now forcing myself to take an hour's lunch break to work on my projects, and am not doing any extra hours than needed at work, which frees up some more of my time!
Yes, we all make mistakes in one shape or another and personally when this happens it really pisses me off, makes me feel stupid and also rather angry!
However, a change of mindset is the best thing that is needed here. Give yourself a break and remember that you're never going to get things right at the first attempt.
What you are actually doing is learning through your mistakes and learning on the job, rather than having someone to give you a guided education.
Making mistakes is actually one of the best things that you can do - as long as you learn from them and implement changes to stop the same mistake happening again.
Ever feel like the whole world is on your shoulders and you're just surrounded by a multitude of problems all fighting for your attention? Well, you won't be alone.
The more stressed you get, the more all of the little problems decide to jump out and have a surprise party in your head, until there's just so much going on that your poor little brain can't cope any more.
In these situations, if you're in front of your computer then just walk away.
Get outside in the fresh air. Go for a run. Even better stop work altogether for a day or go away for the weekend and come back refreshed.
You'll find that with a fresh pair of eyes and clearer mindset, how, miraculously, all of those problems that you thought you had, aren't actually that bad.
The key is trying to keep a level head and tackle those problems one by one so that the whole situation becomes manageable again.
February's eBAY Focus
This month I paid special attention to building out my eBay store further and completed the following things:
- Opened an eBay store
- Added a theme to my eBay store
- Started using Hydralister to list items
- Changed my listings to GTC from 30 day listings
- Worked with my Bangladeshi freelancer to increase the listings in my store to over 650
So, what was the net result of all of these efforts?
My sales have plummeted to next to nothing. This is really worrying as I was expecting to be able to organically grow my sales based on the number of listings that I have created.
However, I'm not going to panic yet and put this down to a few reasons:
- Jan/Feb is always a slow time for online sales
- I added a large number of one type of product to the store, which doesn't look like a good choice
- I added too many high price items to my store. Ideally I think I should only list items between £30 - £100
- My Bangladeshi assistant's listing were particularly poorly formatted
- Changing from 30 day to GTC listings may have an initial downturn on results
My plan is to go back to basics in March and focus on creating quality listings instead of quantity. I'm currently looking for a new experienced eBay lister on Upwork and when I find the right person I'll get them to add a maximum of 10 listings a day so I can check them, provide feedback and have full control on what is happening.... Onwards and Upwards!
The other thing I did this month is close down my eToro account. After a year of having the account open, they decided to take away my £1000 joining bonus (which can't be withdrawn until you do a certain amount of trades).
I think over the year I've actually lost a small amount of money in my eToro account and the thing that irritates me the most is that the % gains that they report for the traders on the platform are usually different to the actual returns that you get back if you start to follow a trader.
Their support told me it is because if a trader adds or removes funds to their account, then this isn't automatically replicated in your copy trading account, which skews the figures.
To be honest, I didn't spend too much time looking at this recently and a lot of it was over and above my knowledge level that it felt a little bit like a gamble, so I closed my account.
Maybe if you know what you're doing then you could make some money from it, but it just felt too much like guesswork to me.
So, March is here, the Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner, spring is coming and hopefully we've almost seen the back of winter, so there's plenty to look forward to!
I'm going to keep faith with the eBay dropshipping technique, will start to build out one of my niche site's content soon and I've just bought some training materials to get into Betfair Sportstrading, which will hopefully be a further future income stream that I can tap into!
However, remember.... Beware the Ides of March!