Tag Archives: sales

Too Many Ideas, Not Enough Time

31 Oct

The beauty of working for yourself is that the possibilities are endless. In the past couple of years I have learned that it is smart to not have all your eggs in one basket. Crucial even. When all of your eggs are in one basket you are setting yourself up for stress and likely even failure. What if your basket gets knocked over or raided by egg eating dinosaurs? Your business will fail.

It is a huge stress relief to not have to rely on just one stream of income. Currently Tom and I have four sources of income that will hopefully grow in the next twelve months to more like ten sources of income. It is such a relief to know that if, god forbid, Amazon we’re to close our account we would still be able to put food on the table for our family.

Amazon is currently our largest source of income and that is because it is the most viable option given our time constraints. The kids are only at the sitter two days a week which severely impacts our ability to expand. Tom working 48 hours a week at his primary job definitely doesn’t help the time issue.

It has been an incredibly difficult balancing act for us. We want to give every business the time and energy that they deserve, that they need, but time is the big killer for us. It is a work in progress and hopefully something that we learn to adapt to. Working for yourself is just that, WORK. It often involves 16 hour days and 7 day work weeks. It involves organization, accountability and the ability to wear 100 different hats at the same time. Accountant, secretary, sales, tech, customer service, and in my case wife, mommy, maid and chef too.

There is no magic formula as to which venues you should go into. People have varying success in all of them. Look at all of your options and figure out which of them fits in with your business plan. I have been brainstorming future arbitrage opportunities:

eBay
Amazon
Etsy
Craigslist
Consignment
Buy.com
Sears.com
My own website
An ebook
Blogging
Consulting
Traditional employment
Bartering
Craft fairs

To name a few.

What are your strengths? Where do you see your business going? What will make you happy at the end of the day? What will be worth your time to do?

Being A Female In A Male Industry

22 Aug

After picking up my winning lots that I won in an auction on Friday it got me to thinking about something. The business that I am in is a very male dominated industry. I am not sure if it is because it requires you to be more assertive or if the haggling aspect intimidates women. Lucky for me I tend to think more like a man so it doesn’t really phase me.

Tom worked Friday so I had to go pick up my lots with the kids which I normally try not to do. It’s not dangerous or anything, it’s just a pain. It wasn’t a huge deal because I was only picking up a few small items. I took the kids inside to pay as I normally do. The office is filled with women who do the reception types of duties, the men are the ones dealing with the actual auction work.

I pulled around back fully prepared to take the kids into the warehouse and get my items, but one of the workers came right up to the car and offered to go get my items for me. That doesn’t happen when Tom goes anywhere. I thought it was maybe because I had the kids, but there was a guy there with three kids and he was getting far more than I was. Not that I was complaining about getting help, but I didn’t want special treatment.

Some women definitely take advantage of the fact that they are women in male dominated industries. It’s easy. When I do it I just feel like I am cheating myself. I can do all of the work that men do to improve their businesses. I don’t feel like I need to bat my eyelashes when I’m haggling the price of an item to do a good job.

So, the question I was asking myself is, is using my “charming” female attributes cheating the system, or is is using my abilities as a salesperson? Anyone in sales needs to rely on a bit of charisma to get customers to like them and trust them. And if I am being charming I don’t really know how to turn it off. I feel like I am equally polite to males as I am males. I was raised that way. Should it be my problem if males take a smile and a “thank you” as flirting when that is, by no means, my intention?

I want to be treated as a business person. I don’t want my gender to be a factor in the way the men in my industry view me.

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