Hey Mom, You Should Read This!

My mom’s been saying that I need to be more grateful for everything I have; especially my job.

I got off to a good start by no longer being bitter but there’s definitely room for improvement. With that being said, each Sunday I’ll be composing a list of things that I’m grateful for. The goal with doing this exercise is to help me focus on all the positives in my life which will hopefully in turn make my life more enjoyable. It’s worth a shot, right?

So what am I grateful for this week?

  1. My awesome wife who cooks, makes sure the bills are paid, makes life fun, and is my best friend.
  2. My parents who sacrificed a lot to make sure I had a great childhood.
  3. My dog, Sabine who is absolutely nuts but she makes life fun.
  4. My job. Even though I want to quit asap, it provides me with a pretty good income and benefits which allows me to have a pretty good life.
  5. My readers. Without you guys, there’s no point to this blog. It’s an awesome feeling to know that people connect with what I have to say. I hope that I’m making your lives better; one post at a time.
  6. The weather is getting cooler. It’s that time of the year where I can actually go outside during the day in Florida and not get a sunburn taking the trash out. This kind of weather makes up for Florida’s heat and humidity the majority of the year.
  7. Vanilla Coke. I know soda isn’t the best for you but sometimes I can’t help myself. Vanilla Coke is my weakness. I can’t really explain it but I love the taste. You can’t get a 2-liter of it and not every store carries it so it’s a treat every time I drink one.

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I’ll also be talking about things that make me smile every Sunday. Why? To help me be more grateful for everything I have: no matter how big or small.

I got this idea from Shane Burcaw. I’ve been following him for a while now. Long story short, he has a disease that is eventually going to kill him. He’s been in a wheel chair since he was 2 years old but he hasn’t let this stop him from enjoying his life and making a difference.

If he can smile, then what excuse do I have not to?!

Things that Made me Smile This Week:

  • Sunday: Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-0. Arsenal is one of my favorite soccer teams and I love when they win; especially when they beat a rival team so badly.
  • Monday: I got an email from a blogger I reached out to the other week. I wasn’t really expecting to get anything back so it was a big surprise!
  • Tuesday: We took a picture of our dog with a Tough Mudder head band on. She looks so pissed but we couldn’t stop cracking up! beanie
  • I was nominated as one of the “Best New Money Blogs” on Rockstar Finance!
  • A cool blogger reached out to me and we’re working on some awesomeness!
  • Thursday: I reached out to a blogger friend I haven’t communicated with in a while.
  • Friday: Steve over at ThinkSaveRetire included me on his Friday Feast. It’s always nice to know that others appreciate what I have to say!
  • Saturday: The family and I went to Oktoberfest at the German-American Society where my grandma’s a member. It’s a family tradition which is always a good time.
  • Sunday: The wife and I took advantage of the cooler weather and we went for a walk in the park. This isn’t something we normally do but it was really nice!

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Lastly, I’ll be sharing what I did to improve myself as a writer/entrepreneur/person this past week. My hopes are that if something helped me, that it could help you too.

What I did to improve:

  1. I listened to this podcast.

What I learned:

  • There’s something called “Fulfilled by Amazon.” It’s a program that makes it look like you have a storefront. All that you do is buy products and ship to Amazon and they take care of the rest.
  • Holy shit, podcasts are actually cool! This was the first one I’ve listened to. I was mainly hesitant because they’re 40ish minutes long and I didn’t think I’d stay interested that long. Thankfully, I was wrong and it turned out to be pretty fun.
  • They go to stores like Target and Walgreens and find items to sell on Amazon. She suggests that if you want to make $3,000 a month, you need to ship out $3,000 worth of stuff that you buy.
  • There’s a difference in price between Target’s website and your local store which can help you exploit arbitrage.
  • People don’t like to hunt for deals so they go straight to Amazon. That’s where there’s opportunity to start a business.
  • There’s actually apps out there where you can scan an item and see how much it would cost you between shipping, Amazon fees, etc and how much profit you’d actually make if it sells.
  • She sells a wide variety of health and beauty, grocery items, and toys. Groceries have to have an expiration date of greater than 50 days to list. No clothing or jewelry is permitted.
  • The good thing about Fulfilled by Amazon is that you don’t need to spend money storing your product; they do that for you. There’s also special deals between Amazon and UPS which allows you to get discounted rates for shipping.
  • The main fees involved with Fulfilled by Amazon are commission and handling.
  • Looking at “Amazon Ranks” will give you a good idea of how quickly and how well a certain item will sell.
  • Most of time is spent scanning items at the store and searching for profitable items. She averages that 1 in 10 scans will lead to something being profitable.
  • It takes 2-10 days from when you ship an item to Amazon to when it goes “live” depending on which warehouse Amazon requires you to ship the item to.
  • Items need to have skus/barcodes to make things easier to sell.

2. Steve @ ThinkSaveRetire told me about the Problogger job board. It’s a job board where bloggers looking for jobs and companies looking for bloggers to hire meet. I haven’t applied to a job yet but I’m thinking about it. It looksВ really promising in helping me quit my job by the end of the year.

3. I read an interesting article about a company that cut their full-time employees to work only 25 hours a week. It makes a lot of sense to me and I’d definitely try to implement the same sort of set-up when/if I ever have employees of my own.

4. I started reading a lot of posts @LivingAFI. He’s achieved financially independence and quit his job earlier this year. I see a lot of my situation in what he talks about and I’ve already learned some stuff. Definitely a must-read!

5. I read a couple of posts at Rags to Reasonable as well. Chris talks a lot about living on a variable income as an Opera singer. He’s brought up a lot of things I haven’t thought about yet as I try to turn my self-employment dream into a reality. Highly recommended!

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So that wraps things up for the first week of trying to be more grateful and being more helpful to my readers. I hope you enjoyed and I hope you have an awesome upcoming week!