My first dip into e commerce

About a year ago I joined a course to learn how to build an online business. Up until that point, my only “online business” was selling my services as a web developer. I don’t really call it a business because it consisted of just me trading my time for money. I essentially created a day job for myself. Sure sometimes I would price on a project basis, but it all boiled down to a business where I was trading my time for money. I had been doing it for about a year by then full time and I was starting to get sick of it. That was the reason I signed up for the online course to learn how to build an online business. A business where I sold goods and could make money while I slept. That was the plan at least.

The course was focused on learning how to set up a drop shipping store online. For those of you who don’t know what drop shipping is, I’ll explain it in a nut shell.

Drop Shipping in a Nut Shell

  1. I drive customers to my site.
  2. Customer places an order on my site.
  3. I charge the customer the MSRP or whatever price I set.
  4. I forward that order to a manufacturer/distributor who I made a relationship with.
  5. They ship the order and charge my card with the dealer pricing.
  6. Customer receives their order with my invoice inside of it.
  7. I keep the margin between what I sold the product for and the dealer pricing. Typically 20-30%.

The course taught me how to narrow down a niche, build a store, and how to drive traffic to the store.

My internal resistance kicked in around the part of the course where we were supposed to pick a niche. I avoided it because deep down I felt like it wasn’t going to work. I self sabotaged myself by not even trying. Eventually a year goes by and I still don’t have a store up yet.

It was only last month when I got a kick in the pants. A significant emotional event triggered me to push my comfort zone and just fucking try it at least. I ended up picking a niche after a couple of days then signed up for Shopify to create the store.

The course taught me that I should have a website up and running before reaching out to suppliers so that’s what I did.

The resistance kicked in again. It was afraid of being rejected by suppliers. Calling suppliers was something I’d never done before and my monkey brain was afraid of the pain of rejection so I put it off and fiddled around with my website for a couple more weeks until the pain of what I was doing became too unbearable.

I nutted up and just picked up the phone and called all the suppliers I could find. Had about 14 on my list. Two said yes on the first call, the rest said no, that they didn’t do drop shipping, or they wanted me to email them my information.

For the ones that didn’t say no, I followed up multiple times before I could get two more yeses. So as of today I have only three suppliers who have agreed to a drop shipping relationship with me.

The planned launch date is next week on Monday (November 21st, 2014). That’s the date I told my suppliers that I was going to launch.

It’s funny because the anticipation of something scary is always worse than the actual thing 99% of the time. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that my brain is an ass hole when it comes to pushing my comfort zone. He always thinks of the worse possible things that can happen, not the best possible out come that could happen. Although I believe he’s doing his best to protect me, I know that I need to push my comfort zone in order to become the man that I want to become.

Where I’m at now:

  • Approved for drop shipping accounts with three suppliers.
  • Site 95% of the way completed. Need to modify a couple sliders.
  • Toll free number and professional voice mail added.
  • Live chat added.
  • Google PLA and Amazon ads ready to rock.

My planned launch date is next week on Monday. I don’t plan on a flood gate of customers to roll in since my plan for traffic right now will be paid (Google & Amazon).

I don’t see drop shipping to be my long term end game but more of a stepping stool to the bigger game of e-commerce. Bigger game meaning building my own brand and manufacturing my own product. One of my goals is to start a life style clothing brand around the fitness industry and I believe that this initial dip into e-commerce will 1. Be helpful to learn how it all works and 2. help me build the capital I’ll need to start manufacturing my own product.

Take Aways

  • The anticipation of something is 99% of the time worse than actually doing the thing. So just do it. It always feels so so good after you conquer something you were afraid of.
  • Stop trying to be perfect. Ready, fire, aim.
  • There’s no speed limit. Success loves speed. Execute. Execute. Execute.
  • Usually it takes a significant emotional event to create massive change.

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