Entrepreneur, Hacker and Future Mad Scientist 🚀☕

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Getting Fired and Building My Amazon FBA Business Full Time

So, I got fired. Turns out having a normal conversation with your part-time GM could turn very irrational on their end and end up you being let go. To sum it up, shit happens.

 

I learned a lot from the conversation with my GM and how some people simply cannot accept systemic gaps and pitfalls in their (the owners) business. Ego and pride can get too much in the way and blind you to massive opportunities to increase performance.

 

I saw this coming early on as there was a clear shift in the work environment. That’s the whole reason I started this Amazon FBA business. I wanted to grow it enough until I could quit. Luckily, my GM sped up the timeline a bit faster than I would.

 

So now I’m giving this a go full-time. It’s not easy, as it’s a major hustle each day with some days turning up zero products, but I can see this growing quite rapidly as I turn my full attention towards it.

 

The Different Amazon FBA Business Models

 

There are different ways to make money with Amazon FBA – Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage, Wholesaling and Private Label.

 

I focus the majority of my efforts on Retail Arbitrage as it’s the easiest way to start making a profit from week one. Online Arbitrage is essentially the same thing, except you purchase your products online.

 

The goal is to eventually move into Wholesaling products, which allows you to purchase bulk orders of profitable products. Instead of purchasing one unit of product A and 3 units of product B, I would bulk order 100-500 units of product A and perhaps even 1,000 units of product B.

 

Even better, I wouldn’t have to run around from store to store every day. I could do all of this from my laptop while using my miles and points to travel wherever I’d like with my girlfriend.

 

How I’m Currently Getting Along

 

This was a very slow process and I really had to jump out of my comfort zone while scanning products on my phone in local stores.

 

I got buried pretty deep into a slump where I went a few weeks without finding any profitable products. I realized I was spending way too much of my time on just clearance isles. Sure, clearance aisles are a great starting point, but you have to take an extra thirty minutes to an hour on aisles that aren’t clearance.

 

Amazon FBA Products

Two store haul worth $147.19 Profit (3 hours worth of work!)

Making this switch has gotten me back in the game in a major way. I spent a few hours in two stores earlier today and came out with $147 dollars in profitable items which I’ll have shipped out and listed by the end of tomorrow.

 

So, for now, I’ll continue focusing on Retail Arbitrage with a sprinkle of Online Arbitrage, at least until The Wholesale Formula course opens back up and I can jump full force into wholesaling like I’d like to do.

 

I Am Taking A Risk Though

 

I can’t fully sustain doing this full-time for long. I have a few months of runway to get things up and running before I’ll need to get a job to cover my bills until I’m moving the units needed each month.

 

Amazon business sales report

Current Months Sales…

So this is a risk, like any other business. The good news is that I have a decent amount of time until the summer semester is over to ship the needed amount of units to generate enough profit to pay myself and grow.

 

My Inventory Goals

 

With Amazon it’s all about “feeding the beast”. The more units you have at the Amazon warehouse, the more sales you’ll get each day.

 

Amazon allows you to keep 5,000 normal size units at any given time.

 

My first goal is to have 1,000 units of products in inventory at any given time and then increase that amount as quickly as possible.

 

From what I’ve gathered having roughly 3,000 units should generate around $300 in sales a day. If you’ve purchase products with good enough margins you should have $100 in net profits each day from that amount of sales.

 

This means that I only need 1,500 units in inventory to reach my personal profit goals to go full time.

 

This is going to take a massive amount of effort. I’m talking Gary V kind of hustle.

 

With limited runway and capital, I’ll have to get creative and move product as fastly as I possibly can.

 

I’ll keep you posted throughout this journey as best I possibly can.

Starting An Amazon FBA Business For Fun and Profit

Over the course of this year I realized that I needed to make some changes. I’d already automated my personal finances and begun traveling for free, but going back to college full-time required me to take a job to sustain myself rather quickly.

 

I soon realized this was not what I was meant to do and lost interest. You’ll notice in my monthly reports that I still set goals for this job, but it’s time to extract myself from it and achieve true freedom.

 

I searched for various new business models to focus in on and then landed on Amazon FBA. I listen to a decent amount of podcasts and the same thing kept popping up; I needed to give this a try!

 

After giving it a bit of thought I decided to jump into an FBA course to give me a better understanding of how to go about doing this. Instead of doing my usual information overload, I decided to take action the very next day and bought roughly $200 worth of product.

 

I know this doesn’t seem like a large investment, but I’m currently doing Retail Arbitrage which is going to local stores to find deeply discounted products to resell on Amazon for a profit.

 

Project Extraction – The Plan

 

I’m going to lay it all out here for you. I currently need to generate a profit of $2,000 /month from this business to go full-time. I’ve been getting 50% ROI on products, but let’s assume a 25% ROI to be conservative.

 

This means that I need to be purchasing roughly $8,000 a month to yield $2,000 profit. At first, I didn’t realize how much volume I would need to do each month, but the numbers don’t lie.

 

So now my weekly goal is to somehow spend $2,000 on product either at local stores or using online sourcing as well…. Now that’s a massive goal.

 

In truth, this is only a minor step towards a much larger goal with this business model. That’s right, this is only phase one.

 

Where I’m Currently At With This Business

 

So far I’ve only spent $992.39 in total. This includes cost of goods, supplies and education.

 

In sales, I’ve done $239.61 with actual profit being $143.63. I still have a lot of inventory waiting for sell. A rather slow start as I really get the hang of sourcing locally and online.

 

I’m not profitable yet by any means, but the rule of thumb is that it should take roughly three months to turn a real profit and until I reach the volume needed to go full-time, all profit will be put back into the business.

 

This should vastly decrease the timeframe needed to reach my goal.

 

Here is a snapshot of what I did in June.

 

starting an amazon fba business from scratch

 

June was all about getting set up and learning the process. Now that I’ve done that, It’s time to really throw down some capital on inventory and scale up to the volume needed.

 

June 2016 Monthly Goals and Updates

Have you ever had one of those months where you completely rethink your whole life and analyze where you put your focus and effort? Yea, me either…. OK, so I did and it was great.

 

I realized I’m simply not living the ideal lifestyle I want holistically and needed to make a change. There are many aspects of life you need to consider to make you happy, at least for myself and I was greatly lacking in one area; How I make money.

Awesome Macaroons

 

I decided a change needed to be made and started to take action. I’m not going to tell you what I’m doing yet. I’m still in the early phase of things but so far it’s looking very good!

 

So what’s the bad news? The bad news is that my girlfriend and I won’t be able to take our planned trip to Thailand as early as we thought. Instead, we’ve decided to spend a week or so in New Orleans as it’s a much easier travel plan points wise and we’ve both always wanted to go.

 

Not really bad news after all.

 

So let’s dive into how I did this past month with my goals.

 

Travel Hacking

 

I applied for the last two cards I needed for the Thailand trip, but only got approved for one due to too many applications is such a short time. Not a big deal as I can reapply once my credit score jumps back up another 30+ points.

 

I have not started travel hacking cards for my girlfriend due to a stop on MS methods we sustained recently. MS became too expensive and we’re waiting for something new to come along sometime soon so we can go full force again.

 

I still need to meet the minimum spend on my new card, but I have three months to make that happen so I should be fine.

 

On a happier note, my girlfriend and I are spending this weekend in Savannah Georgia at the Hyatt Andaz for free using hyatt’s free nights and free room service, drinks and hotel restaurant taken care of using my Barclay’s points left over from a previous trip.

 

God I love travel hacking!

 

Golf Mastery

 

Yea, I did nothing this month even closely related to golf. It really just hasn’t been a priority at this time and I’m strongly considering replacing this goal with something that has more value in my life.

 

I learned recently that if you don’t make time for something, it’s not because you’re too busy, it’s because it isn’t THAT important to make time for. So golf mastery is being pushed aside for now.

 

Personal Training

 

I was able to add another 4 clients this past month and my schedule is really starting to take over my life. Income is going up, but time is quickly going away which is why I needed to make a switch in this aspect of my life.

 

I need to dive deeper into the numbers with clients as I still haven’t reached my financial goal and something is off. Either I made a bad calculation or something is getting lost without my knowledge.

 

Either way I’m doing extremely well with the goal, but a switch needed to be made.

 

TL;DR – The Tally For April

  • Approved for ½ last travel hacking cards
  • Won’t be going to Thailand but New Orleans instead
  • Made a massive, yet secretive change in my life related to income
  • Did nothing for Golf Mastery and pushing it aside
  • Did extremely well with Personal Training
  • Two free nights this weekend at the Hyatt Andaz with room service, drinks etc erased with Barclay points

 

Goals For June

 

As usual I’m going to keep this short and to the point.

 

Personal Training

  • Add 4 more clients

 

Secretive Change

  • Increase product amount 10x (are you curious yet?)

 

Travel Hacking

  • Meet minimum spend on newest card
  • Find new MS method to turn things back on full blast

 

Improving The  Blog

  • Write in-depth post on how my girlfriend and I spent the weekend in Savannah for free
  • Write 1 guest post for another site to increase traffic and subscribers

 

I really hope these monthly posts, although not intensive encourage you to start keeping track of your yearly and monthly goals to get closer every day to your ideal life. Living your ideal life isn’t something that happens overnight, but you can make incredible progress in just six months or less.

 

If you haven’t already, jump on revamped email list. In it you’ll learn exactly how I live the lifestyle I currently do; Designing your ideal life, breaking it down, travel hacking your way to freedom and building wealth.

 

May 2016 Monthly Goals and Updates

It took me longer than I had planned to write this month’s update post. I had planned to write a few more posts before this one also, but could only manage to write one on my recent trip and how my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Thailand.

 

This month has been pretty fun, with some up and downs for sure. For starters, the semester is finally over and as it stands now I have all A’s and potentially one B depending on how my final went in that class. On top of that, I made a pretty big decision to move in with my girlfriend of almost two years.

 

Let’s see how I ended up doing in April…

 

Travel Hacking

 

This will most likely be the best category of the month. Not only did we use points for a free night stay for my best friends wedding, but I’m also planning a trip to Thailand for me and my girlfriend using nothing but points and award night stays.

 

I’ll go more in-depth on in a future post!

 

So far I’ve accrued over 100,000 points and counting, with another few hundred thousand points coming in over the next few months. This Thailand trip will cost a decent amount of points and all of the current points I have and am earning are going to this trip.

 

I was, however, able to use Hyatt’s rewards card to earn two free nights at any Hyatt to book a small weekend trip to Savannah Georgia for the beginning of June. Anyone in the travel hacking world will comment saying how wasteful it was to use these free nights at such a small hotel, when they could have been used on a major trip overseas, but travel is about what you want to get out of it and it was a very quick fix to a nice summer weekend away as a couple.

 

Golf Mastery

 

So I’m slacking. Like majorly. The truth is I just haven’t been giving it the focus it requires at all. I can make excuses all day long, but I simply haven’t made the time.

 

My goal was to schedule a minimum of two driving range sessions, but I only scheduled one. After watching Tim Ferriss’ episode on Golf, I’m a bit more inclined to get back at this skill and breaking it down.

 

Personal Training

 

This has been an up and down year for our industry and I’m really not sure why. Anyhow, I’ve been able to manage the highest conversion rate at our facility in closing new clients and have added another 4 clients to my schedule, which is incredibly low for a whole month. I’m merely 2-3 clients away from reaching my financial goal. Unfortunately as clients reach their goals, some leave, which means I have to replace them.

 

Regardless I’m very much on track for this goal.

 

Hiking The Appalachian Trail

 

Literally have given this zero thought or action this month. I’m considering putting this off as I’m more focused and excited for Thailand and international travel hacking it seems.

 

TL;DR – The Tally For April

 

  • Paid for a hotel stay with 100% points
  • Awarded two free nights at any Hyatt hotel in the world
  • Planned a trip to Thailand with my girlfriend using travel hacking
  • Only golfed one time instead of two
  • Added 4 new clients and completely on track
  • Nothing done for my hiking trip

 

Goals For May

 

I’m going to keep this super short and to the point this time. No real explanation needed.

 

Personal Training

  • Add 4 more clients and reach financial goal

 

Golf Mastery

  • Visit driving range twice this month

 

Travel Hacking

  • Apply for last two cards needed for my side of our Thailand trip
  • Start travel hacking for my girlfriend’s side of the trip (5 cards needed…)

 

Should be a very interesting month to say the least. I’ll try my best to publish more posts as well. I’m sure you guys want to read more how-to and lifestyle posts than just my monthly check-ins.

 

If you have anything specific you would like to read about, please post in the comments!

 

Getting Rich, Learning Sign Language and Thailand Baby!

So it’s the week before finals. I should really just end this post here, but I’ll push onward. I’m pleased to let you know that two major goals will now be crossed off of my yearly goals list; Financial Literacy and learning Sign Language.

 

I feel like my blog is coming alive again. Obviously the more I write the more traffic I earn from users and more subscribers I get on a daily basis. Just releasing my monthly goal posts has increased subscriber count by a decent amount and I can’t wait to hit 4-digit subscriber numbers. It’s really amazing that people are interested in reading about my life and the interesting things that I try to do each month.

 

So let’s dive into knocking off some major milestones!

 

Getting Rich and Financial Literacy

 

It was incredibly hard for me to quantify this goal as you should consistently further your knowledge of finance and investing which I try to do, but eventually I came to the conclusion that I could successfully mark off this goal because of systems that I have in place to ensure that my financial life is in order.

 

More importantly these systems ensure that my net worth increases every time money comes into my checking account automatically. So if one month goes by and I don’t increase my wealth, something went incredibly wrong, but this has yet to happen and I have high doubts of it ever happening.

 

Consider this goal marked off!

 

Learning Sign Language (My first-second language!)

 

I’ve attempted to learn various languages on my own in an attempt to become polylingual over time, but each time I end up frustrated and stop making progress. After going back to college and being required to fulfill two semesters of a foreign language, I decided to give American Sign Language a try.

 

To my surprise I became quite good at ASL (all thanks to my deaf teacher!) and will have ASL II complete by the end of this week. I can safely hold a conversation in sign language and although not entirely fluent, I still consider this successful as I don’t need to be 100% fluent to hold a conversation in ASL.

 

Consider this goal, also, marked off!

 

Who’s Going To Thailand?!

 

This guy. That’s who! One of my goals this year is to become a master at travel hacking. Trying to quantify this goal is also subjective so it’s really up to me to decide what success is.

 

My quantification of success in becoming a master travel hacker is achieving an international flight and hotel stay using travel hacking techniques. After talking it over with my girlfriend we decided to plan a trip to Thailand later this year using nothing but points.

 

I reached out to my friend Bryce at 10xTravel.com for some quidance on how to make this happen (every master was once an apprentice), but more on this in a future post!

 

 

A photo posted by Dillon Carter (@dillondcarter) on

 

So far I’ve used points to cover a hotel stay for my girlfriend and I for a friends wedding and will be using points to cover a weekend stay in Savannah Georgia after finals.

 

Once this trip is complete I’ll be able to mark off another goal off my list; visiting the Asian continent!

 

So far 2016 is incredible, minus college….. But incredible no matter.

 

I’m trying to squeeze in as many goals, trips and milestones as possible this year to really maximize 2016.

 

Make sure you subscribe so you can read my future post on how I’m travel hacking a $8,000 trip to Thailand for roughly $500 for two people!

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