Why You Should Show Off Your Spoils in Public Victory

I think that it is good to show off. And not even in a humble-brag kind of way, but more like an in your 😝 mouth! kind of way. I say this knowing full-well that it makes me sound like a total douche, but hear me out.

There are many different kinds of people in the world. Some are just cut from a different cloth than others, so to say. I have had a diverse upbringing and experience, with some wealth and abundance as well as poverty and the necessary resourcefulness that comes along with that. I went to public schools, and a boarding school in New Zealand. I’ve driven a public transit 40 ft bus in Louisville Metro, and I’ve sat in an office managing a fleet of drivers. Now I’m running my own resale business.

Point being, I can see things from different perspectives, and when people assume that I was given anything, or have lived a sheltered life, they are mistaken. And that is probably the main reason that I haven’t any qualms about publicly rejoicing in my victories. Because I earned them.

I think it is the coolest thing to prove negativity wrong. To stunt on the haters. To shit on the critics. It’s a great motivation! I don’t know what gets you out of bed in the morning, but for me it is to prove everyone who has doubted me wrong! I smirk and grin as I write that because it is so true for me.

I feel like I’ve been doubted my whole life, and instead of focusing on that as a negative weight that would hold me down, I choose to embrace it and take flight against all adversity. It’s funny, because I empathize with the fact that I come across as if I’ve lived a sheltered life wherein I’ve received hand-outs, but after graduating high school from a motel room because I got kicked out of my house, I haven’t been given shit!

So now when I start to bring in some real money, averaging $1K/day on my Amazon business alone, it feels great knowing that it is the product of my efforts, and I’ve earned it myself. And yet, I’m just beginning, and soon I hope to bring in $10K every day. And I will hilariously still be driving my Mitsubishi (that I bought new, CASH), because for me it is all about practicality. But Lord knows, when I get my big boy car, or even a helicopter, I will have earned it.

Creme! Gotta Get the Money. Dollar Dollar Bills Y’all!

So I’m sitting here drinking my coffee with honey and without milk, because I haven’t gotten my groceries, but normally I drink it with milk and honey. The Bible says those two things are good, and they are, in coffee. But this cup of coffee is a heaven-send even without creme, because I was up late last night and I slept in. I noticed that I was running late to go pick up from Amazon to make deliveries, which I had actually forgotten about. So I canceled that, and promptly started brewing some coffee.

But I brought in over $10,000 in the last 48 hours. Cool, right? That is hands down by far the most money I’ve grossed ever. I’m on track to have another big day today, even possibly another 5K day. But you know what is funny? It doesn’t feel much different from all of the other days! Don’t get me wrong, it feels good, but I want to share some of my psychology when I’m hitting these new highs, which objectively are a big deal for me and my business, but subjectively it doesn’t feel life changing.

How would you feel if someone just gave you $10,000 as a gift? I remember when I was given one hundred $1 bills by a friend for my 13th birthday, and I felt like the flipping man! I was thumbing through those ones, and it felt like a major boss move in my early business career. I’ve always wanted my money to make more money though, and even as a kid I was encouraged to create value using my resources. It became the best game ever to think about how I could hustle new money by selling Colby’s Coolers which was my first real business. I walked up and down Ojai Avenue on Ojai Day or the Fourth of July selling coolers and fans to people dying of heatstroke at a healthy markup from fans that my friend Andrew and I had bought when my Mom took us to Walmart. Call us the original OGs of Walmart Arbitrage.

We bought those fans for around $100 and I had a stack of $300 or $400 from a couple hours work, and I think it was then that I understood that you never want to settle for the $100 that your friend gives you on your birthday and buy some dumb shit with that, but the greater gift is one that keeps giving.

Anyways, I kind of feel that way with $10K. I mean, yeah, great. I’m stoked I made some quick dough. And I need it. But I guess I’m just trying to take a really big MACRO perspective, that I need to continue the growth, or it is just vanity, seeing as it’s not like I can retire (I never want to retire, God that sounds horrible). I should mention, I’ve learned that it’s not what your bringing in, it’s the increase. You could be selling tons of shit at a loss. Thankfully, I’ve learned to focus on profit margins, and I’m making well over 25% net profit.

So what I’m saying (to myself) is, keep moving. Keep investing in what has allowed for growth. Keep re-investing, and finding new ways to be smarter and more efficient while “working hard”. Do both. And I guess it’s OK to treat yo-self a little bit, and buy a damn desk.

Update on Business- Growing Pains

Growth is painful, but so is the alternative. Last year I grossed $65,817.07 on Amazon, having started with their Fulfillment by Amazon program in April after running into some guy at Costco who is a Pastor at Southeast Christian Church looking at some Nike hoodies for resale.

I’ve grossed $63K in the first quarter of 2018, and I’ve been focusing much more on making my margins of 25% minimum (after fees, shipping and other expenses). I’ve sold some very high dollar products at minuscule margins that were simply not worth selling, so the gross numbers really don’t matter unless the margin is there. It feels pure vanity to brag about big gross numbers knowing that the profit margin is all that matters, which you don’t see in a screen-cap.

I think it’s funny when people assume that selling on Amazon, eBay or anywhere for that matter is passive. Granted, when Amazon fulfills my orders with the inventory that I store at their warehouses it saves me the work of shipping the product and dealing with returns, but that is why it is so scaleable. Most of my time is spent maintaining my listings because I do my own repricing to stay competitive, and sourcing more product. If you want your business to grow, you need to feed the beast. Amazon’s FBA program makes for a hungry beast that has an insatiable demand for product.

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So the key to Amazon FBA is sourcing profitable merchandise and having the capital to buy it. My first deal was buying 82 pairs of golf shoes that, come to find out, I couldn’t sell on Amazon. But I figured it out anyways.

I’ve sourced plenty of products. Some have done well, others have been losers. Double down on the winners and cut the losers seems like a principle that works well in most areas of life, especially ecommerce arbitrage. I’m learning to test products more, and then wait for the right time to really commit to buying larger amounts of product.

I save more money now when I find a real winner product by buying wholesale quantities and having them shipped LTL via tractor trailer. I’m excited because I’ve made my largest purchase last week, two pallets which will be headed to an Amazon warehouse tomorrow.

The bottom line is that if you want to make it happen, you’ve got to hustle. If I don’t hit the ground running tomorrow morning, then I’ll have no chance of grossing over 100K in Q2. If I don’t work smart, may be I will gross that much but not make much profit at all, and earn a pittance for all of my “hard work”. So my focus is on being active and dynamic, keeping my eyes open for opportunity to come my way, executing upon good information and being an overall practitioner. Stay hungry my friends.

Switching to Fresh Spring HΒ²O ⛲️

So I’ve just awakened, feeling great, and I’ve slowly sat down and had some black tea with honey and creme. As of last evening, I started drinking natural spring water from a local deep earth spring, and I wanted to share some of my first impressions.

You may not think that this is worth writing about. Clearly I disagree. Just from the first day of switching to water that is thousands of years old, purified through the layers of earth, and mineralized thereby, I think this is an important topic.

A friend of mine, Ben, had brought this to my attention over one year ago. He actually drives to Climax, KY, South of Lexington, and fills up multiple 5 gal jugs on a weekly basis. And for some reason I looked into Daniel Vitalis, someone Ben had recommended listening to. It clicked for me, in that water is the most important substance to life, and not all HΒ²O is the same.

If your water is treated with chlorine and floride, pumped through old pipes and recycled through sewage and metro-infrastructure, that’s obviously not the same as water which has been moving naturally for thousands of years to a pool underground, collecting minerals while being filtered under pressure through layers of limestone here in Kentucky, only to spring up in clean, abundant support of life. That’s what I’m talking about!

So I did some quick research. My friend said that he hadn’t any on hand and that he’d let me know when he got some more. Come to find out a local company is rebranding that same water from that local spring that I visited with my friend a year ago, and it’s about $1 per gallon. Quite affordable in my opinion in that it saves me a trip out there to gather my own.

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Day 2 went swimmingly. I drank more spring water and I was a little sore in the chest and arms from working out. I’ve been eating better, in having less fast food. Trying to limit my coffee consumption, but I had a couple cups later in the morning. I’ve noticed that when I first got my spring water yesterday, I drank lots of it. I was parched! After chugging it, I’ve been less thirsty for obvious reasons. But I think that spring water is more rich in minerals and the hydration quality is such that it takes less water to hydrate yourself. I drank some today, not copious amounts, and felt fully hydrated. So at the end of day two, I was starving so I ate some eggs and hummus and a PBR before going to the gym, and at the gym I brought a bottle of spring water. My friend’s taste test was interesting, in that he thinks that the water “tastes smooth, like bourbon”. I think he was describing the heaviness to it, in that it feels substantial, or thick when you drink it. I describe it as tasting like whole milk vs skim milk (tap water)

The problem with tap water is that it isn’t fresh or untainted. It’s treated with all kinds of stuff so that you won’t get terribly sick drinking it. It’s recycled and treated, containing even pharmaceutical drugs. If you find a good spring, you’re getting the pure product the way God made it! That makes sense to me, and I don’t mind paying a little for good water because I feel that it is the most important substance when you think about it.

So day #4 and I’m drinking coffee made with this good water. Yesterday I installed a shower-filter to get out harmful substances (like chlorine) from my shower.

Update

I’ve been doing the water thing for over a month now. As a matter of fact, I ran out of water this morning and poured little bottles in my Chemex to make coffee. I need to re-up. I need to get out of my robe, get dressed, and drive 5 miles to get 5 gallons. But I feel great! I’ve also been making one or two “Lemon Volcanoes” a day, which is a mineral water like Pelegrino or Gerolsteiner with some pure lemon juice. It’s a great elixer and has fantastic digestive enzymes. I love to drink bubbly lemon mineral water after eating. Also I’ve been taking probiotics for beneficial gut flora because I believe that the gut is literally your second mind in that it effects mood and performance. It’s hard to have a clear mind without a healthy gut.

So anyways, clean water is great. It makes great coffee (I need to get a second cut). I’m super glad that I put a filter on my shower, to reduce my exposure to chorine and the like, and I’m going to the sauna to sweat out toxins, replacing them with nutrients. Perfection is a poor standard, but we can all strive to eat well (whatever that means to you) and drink well.

I went to a yoga class, which is funny because I’m totally not a soy-boy, but the yogi gave me an interesting quote. She talked about being more body-full instead of the popular concept of mindfulness. Well the mind is the body. Let’s not hyper-focus on one part or aspect. Let’s work to make positivity in all aspects. Mind and body. Breath and being grounded. Enjoying tasty grub and getting nutrients. Eat well, drink well, love life!

Healthier Choices I’m Making for Myself

Check it out – life is short. What kind of life are you living? I ask myself that regularly. And here are some of the choices that I’m making to live the life that I want to.

Really there are too many to list. I feel that I’m constantly adjusting, sensing, evaluating. Right now I’m writing this as I listen to some very empowering and relaxing dubs from this producer out of Belgium Digid. I took a much needed shower after going to the gym for an hour. I just now got an email confirming that I have a massage with Gabriel “Magic Hands” LMT tomorrow at CLimb Nulu.

I put a filter on my shower head to filter out nasty shit. Chlorine mainly, but also base metals from old pipe infrastructure and the neurotoxin fluoride that they unnecessarily put in tap water. I don’t think it filters fluoride out, but it definitely filters chlorine and other crap out. My showers are more enjoyable now, knowing the water is cleaner and I’m not absorbing toxins, or reducing my exposure.

I started drinking only the freshest natural spring water that I can find. My buddy preached the spring water gospel to me over a year ago, but I thought it to be inconvenient. After coming across @danielvitalis and his talks about this issue, I decided that clean water strait from the earth is worth paying for. My old buddy has been driving over 100 miles weekly to fetch fresh water for a local food club that I need to renew my membership with. Check them out if your a 502 local. Their organic and mostly locally sourced food is super dank (especially the yogurt). 😜

So my HΒ²O that I’m putting in my body (my body which is composed of over 70% HΒ²O mind you) has gotten cleaner. It’s interesting because apparently research suggests that quality water has been shown to directly effect ones hormonal and nervous systems, namely the pineal gland in the brain. The third eye as it is referred to, regulating dopamine levels and REM sleep. An interesting concept, that water is life and not all water is the same. I believe the element is fundamental to one’s health, in that in order to achieve peak health and performance, one must source fresh and clean water.

Food too. I’ve been trying to eat healthier. This is something I’m struggling with, in a good way. Finding time to cook is difficult for me, so I’ve been trying the “AirBNB Diet” as James Altucher refers to it. Eating healthy and quick can be affordable. Go for the fresh snacks instead of processed foods. Spend $5 at a healthy grocery instead of on fast food. Salmon & pasta is my go to at Whole Foods, with a mineral water. I can get out of there for under $10 every day.

Saving money is a big deal. If you drop all kinds of cash (or even worse, credit) on lattes and expensive snacks, good luck saving any money. Luckily I’m naturally cheap af, so I don’t spend a lot on unnecessary splurges. I negotiate with everyone when theres a negotiation to be had. I enjoy saving money more than spending it.

Being nice with people is another thing I’m focusing on. Enjoying peoples company. Letting people enjoy mine. Life is better when you develop mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships, to whatever degree. I get acquainted with as many people as I can, even though I don’t consider myself that social. I enjoy getting to know people individually, even if it’s just a casual encounter with someone doing business.

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It has felt great to take breaks from working and MAKING* time for myself to go to the gym, stretch, foam roll, do some yoga or just walk around with my camera. This is something I’ve been meditating on, that if you don’t take time or opportunities with money or eating/drinking well, spending time with people you care about etc., then you don’t. That’s it. You have to make it happen for yourself. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ll keep you posted on how things go. Thank you.

What I’m Doing

I’m really excited about all the tools we have available to connect with each other. Audio, video and text. Most people gravitate more towards one, but I’m not sure which form I like best. I enjoy writing, talking and being in front of a camera. I guess I just enjoy reaching out to people.

So that’s what I’m going to be doing. It’s Friday night and I’m watching HOC at 1 A.M. I’m also writing this. I’m not in the mood to jump in front of a camera, and I can’t rant on a podcast because my AirBNB guest is sleeping in my guest room. So now is a good time for me to half-attentively write about what I’ve got going on in hope that someone finds it interesting.

I’m going to be podcasting. I’ve used Anchor a couple times, and SoundCloud. The five minute limit on Anchor keeps things concise, and make for hasty endings.

I’m going to continue to do little daily Vlogs if I can compile relatively short compilations that I think are entertaining and informative enough. And, I’ll be writing more!

I just know that I always have to be doing, and the more I do, the more I wish to share. I’m not a big fan of holding myself to arbitrary rules, but I do love developing systems and routines that produce results. And that system that I’m adopting is getting one piece of content out on the daily, or more.

So I hope to make podcasts, Vlogs and write blog posts to get started. I’m imagining doing much more as I get going; I want to record music and get a proper film set up with a camera and a crew. Big things are coming. Stay tuned.

I Have a πŸ†’ Job

I work for myself when I buy stuff and sell it for a profit. That’s called arbitrage, taking product from one market and introducing it into another. Profit is the motive, and I really enjoy providing value by recognizing the difference and making goods more available. It’s rewarding when you realize that there is demand that isn’t sufficiently being met, and being the supplier.

I enjoy that my schedule is mine. I could clear out next week and practically do whatever I want. It just so happens that I want to make money and provide value, so that’s what I plan to do as soon as my alarm clock goes off tomorrow and I’ve had one or two caffeinated drinks. Having a free schedule allows me prioritization, which is a fancy word for freedom in that I can choose what I think is more important for me to do. I like not having a dorky boss telling me what to do, or making those choices for me.

Sometimes I will opt to go and service my business instead of taking a contract job. I tell the people who hire me when I’m available instead of them telling me where to be and when. I’m still soaking it in really, and I’ve been self employed for about a year and a half now. So Amazon will offer me work in advance, so that I can schedule my “work-week”, but I already know that basically I will be working all day every day whether I’m delivering packages, sourcing products, creating content or whatever. And it’s nice because even if I commit to such a job, I can always cancel as long as I give sufficient notice (45 mins).

But when I go out and source goodies, electronics or clothes or shoes, it kinda looks cool when I take a pic of all that stuff. What you don’t see is the risk and work. It’s risky to purchase product and introduce it to Amazon or eBay or another market in that it might not sell. Then your fucked! Or the price could drop and you might not much much (if any) money. The price could go up! Either way, it’s on you. So although taking pictures is cool and all, behind the picture is work. I might use the #easymoney tag on the Gram, but there simply is no such thing. Finding, transporting, shipping and actually selling product requires R/D and sweat. It’s fun though, and I enjoy chasing the rewards.

Why I Will Continue to be Successful

There are few guarantees in life. Death is guaranteed, as are taxes and pain. All good things, right? And only one of them can you really control, and that’s pain. Seeing as pain and struggle is guaranteed in life, it becomes something one can accept and use as valuable information. And that, my friend, is what I think makes the difference.

I’m no sado-massochist. I hate pain, as is biologically normal. I remember meeting a goth-type in Junior College who tried to convince me that he enjoyed pain, as he strolled along a nice academic lawn setting, with sunglasses on. I called him on his bullshit and told him that he should be in some dark hole scraping himself if that were true. Perhaps that is another guarantee in life, that most people are full of shit.

And apparently I’m full of vinegar as I write this at 1:30 in the morning. I don’t think so. Because really I want to make this an uplifting article, positively so. Pain is to be accepted though, because it is the most powerful sense that you have. How many senses do we have? Sight, taste, hearing, smelling and feeling. The last being the most powerful. Touch. And there is little subjectivity to the hard-wiring of the nervous system to the brain.

If you want to achieve substantial progress, you have to be wiling to endure hardship. Replace you with I in the previous sentence and it becomes a note to myself. Of course it’s rational and good to want to avoid unnecessary pain, but it’s also rational to realize that certain pain is unavoidable if you’re determined to achieve something difficult, whether it by physical stress or mental.

Anyway, the goodness of life is contrasted with the darkness of hardship. Any extremely successful person of any objective measure has endured much pain. Think of someone that you respect because he or she achieved great success. I’m certain that person has been tough, enduring physical, social and mental adversity. Just as your senses communicate information directly to your primal brain, the saying proves true- everything is mental. Internal or external, the power one has is in how one chooses to deal with the situation given his or her options. Sometimes there are no options, and that makes the decision easy.

So I think that I am learning a most important lesson at the right time in my personal growth, and that is that my success is a factor of how I choose to embrace or ignore the often painful realities of my situation. Many times I have chosen to ignore certain truths I faced, most likely because I couldn’t handle the repercussions of acknowledging them. I believe that I have progressively embraced more and more empirical truth about my life as I’ve grown in maturity and processing capability. I’ve seen much personal growth in myself, especially recently, as has been validated by those whose opinions I value.

So I believe that I will continue to be successful, as I define success in the quality of my relationships and objective measurements in business and how I live, because I have learned to learn. I have learned to experience difficulty as gathering information to better myself, and become more efficient at accomplishing what I set out to do. Sometimes I learn that my objectives are too difficult, and I make the conscious choice to give up on things. But the difference between being successful and failing overall is whether or not you remain conscious of the decisions you make, and truly consider the repercussions of such decisions, if you ask me. (:

AirBNB Preview: How I Got Started

Check It Out

Sometimes life just throws you a bone. One year ago my roommates kicked me out because one of their frat bros needed a place to stay and wanted to move in, which meant me moving out. So they asked me to leave, and that was fine with me, because the only reason that I was staying there was because rent was pretty cheap, allowing me to save money. Long story short, it wasn’t the best living situation. I had to get my deposit back in small claims court even though I had left the place in much better condition than before.

So after having received thirty day notice, I was rushing to find a place. I found a place in downtown Louisville that I thought to be too good to be true. The manager was working with me to get my paperwork approved for the two bedroom with the best view, and the clock was ticking. Another fairly nice place had fallen through because I’ve been totally self-employed, and proving income is a bit more difficult without W-2’s from an employer.

But then I landed this place, with hours, not days, to spare. I was looking at all options at that point, and those tidings came as cold waters to a thirsty soul. So I moved in with basically nothing but a bed, and it looked like a hostel for the first six months as I slowly got furniture and made it feel like home.

I got two bedrooms 1) because it seemed to be the best deal available (like my car*), and 2) because I wanted to AirBNB. But I wasn’t sure if it would be viable. So I just started doing it. I took a few pics of my basic set-up, and went through their little process, and… voilΓ₯, people were staying here and I started to get paid.

My prices really haven’t changed since then, even though I’ve added furniture, artwork, nice pillows, a hairdryer, 32″ HD TV, and an ironing board; all of which I had not before. My first few guests were happy with the location and cleanliness. I have new carpets, unlike my previous small-claims situation. πŸ˜‚ They were happy with the bed and cubbies and simple accommodations.

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From then on I’ve taken the money I’ve made with AirBNB and reinvested in in better furniture and make it much more comfortable. I’m thinking about putting a little fireplace in my apartment living room next. But besides the money, and I do appreciate the revenue stream, my guests themselves are the best. I’ve enjoyed each of their company, no matter how brief or extended, thoroughly.

I’ve had all kinds of unique people stay with me. As you’d expect, many business people and tourists. College kids and people interviewing. I live so close to the hospitals downtown that many of Louisville Hospital and Dental School interviewees, neurologists and the like have stayed with me. Fantastic people, all of them.

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I’ve played dominos with businessmen from Hawaii. They taught me how to play, and I won (twice). So many people have stayed with me that I’m making a map highlighting wherefrom.

I simply πŸ’š providing a place for people to rest and relax in Louisville. For business or recreation, I’m glad people from all over the country and world can benefit from what I have to offer. I still keep in touch with many of my previous guests. I wish I could keep in touch with all of them! My experience with AirBNB has far surpassed my expectations and I look forward to posting videos and writing more about it.

Why I’m Going to Win

I’m going to win because I’m winning now. I’m getting what I want, despite adversity. And I welcome adversity as it comes, because it’s unavoidable. I’m getting mine. And it would take an act of God to stop me. I’ve always faced adversity. From myself, my family, and my environment; in that order.

But despite graduating high school from a motel room and coming from a family torn all different directions, I’m still here. We’ve all got problems and a history of them. I dodged some close calls. But haven’t we all? And life goes on.

But finding that sweet spot between survival and peace is thriving and abundance. It’s balancing the hardship, adversity and resistance with moments of pause for recharge. One cannot always be bombarded. Even machines need time to rest and recharge. Humans need love and connection; sleep and recreation.

I feel like struggling out of difficult situations is what life is all about at this point. I know that getting stuck in a struggle can be very discouraging, but pressing onward is even more rewarding. When your really struggling rewards will come as complete surprises. And who doesn’t like surprises?

Having 0 expectations allows for only upside. Tailwinds only help those facing the storms. And if you eat shit and take personal responsibility, eventually you’ll come across a pleasant dish you can savor and you can earnestly expect that quality will continue to improve.