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My 2012 State of the Union Address on eBay
My Very Own Stump Campaign
It's late in the day in 2012, and Romney and Obama are getting ready to square off. The plaudits, promises, and slings are rapidly and furiously slicing through the autumn air as America prepares for yet another significant political battle.
With no disrespect to the presidential candidates, I am neither invested nor interested in what either of them has to say.
Please note: I do not suffer from apathy.
Rather, I thrive on individualism.
A little over a year ago, just before my 59th elliptical trip around the sun, I threw in my rat race towel. I had had it with an economy that coerced men to be geographically apart from loved ones in order to maintain employment. I had long resented myself for being in such a predicament, in large part due to poor choices made over a lifetime of struggling.
To right my ship 's course, I did the one courageous thing I'd ever done in my life.
I asked God to deliver me from an earthly hell, and then I leaped over the proverbial cliff of despair.
And as I plummeted downward at the speed of light, just before impact, I remember saying, "God, you better catch me!"
More from the Coconut Pen of Hawaiian Odysseus...
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In Hawai'i today, the only legal way to capture lobsters is by hand. Hawaiian Odysseus fondly recalls a time when net fishing for lobsters was a cultural norm, not a prohibited activity.
- Ten Great Items for Newbies to Sell on eBay
When a fellow writer requested an article about items a new member could sell on eBay, Hawaiian Odysseus was up for the task. He learned just as much from the writing of it as he hopes his readers will.
- Hawaiian Odysseus' OHANA--Outstanding Hubbers And Ni...
At the end of his seventh month of residence in the friendly global community of HubPages, Hawaiian Odysseus honors five of his favorite pen pals.
Recap of the Last Year
After heart-to-heart conversations with my wife, I returned home in late June of 2011.
I'd decided to not waste my time trying to find work in the local area. Grateful for the opportunity to have had decent work for a season in the greater Seattle area, I was nevertheless determined to build my eBay business, something I'd been working at on a part-time basis since early 2001.
At 59 years of age, my body was falling apart from chronic severe sleep deficit, sleep apnea, lack of adequate medical, dental, and optical care, and hours of standing on a concrete floor as well as working around the tremendous heat of the powerful ovens.
Thankfully, my wife had been professionally employed for thirty-five years in the local area, and we could scrape by with one and a fraction of an income while I diligently nurtured our online business.
I didn't have a formal business plan. Basically, all I wanted to do was to match what I was making at the bagel bakery. Customary to what we hear about what an average time span might be for determining whether a business will succeed or fail, I set three years as a time frame to accomplish my basic goal.
Friends, I'm halfway there after fifteen months. I'm thankful and happy for the progress I've made, and there've been some additional blessings as well. Let's take a look at some of the things we modified and accomplished with God's help...
- We expanded our product line by adding the following niches to our fly tying hooks--magazines; books; vintage and contemporary print ads; vintage (art and photo) prints; collectible tins; collectible figurines; porcelain and ceramics; vintage art; antiques; postcards; photographs; and a few others
- We added alternative sites to our campaign--Etsy, Yardsellr, Amazon, Craigslist, eBay Classifieds
- We expanded our reach by selling for others on a commission
- We scour the local and regional areas several times a week to acquire more inventory--yard sales, garage sales, porch sales, estate sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, and liquidation centers
- My wife opened up her own Yardsellr account and made her first sale on October 8, 2012
- I began using my personal blog to promote our product line as well as that of my sister who also sells on eBay
- I began writing for HubPages in February, 2012, developing a solid eBay niche
- I researched and began applying a rudimentary application of social marketing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
- I voraciously read books, eBooks, blog posts, and Hubs specializing on eBay, online entrepreneurship, marketing, SEO strategies, and personal finance
- I developed solid relationships with a core group of fellow HubPages writers
- I promoted local businesses and institutions--in part to gain market exposure and in part to have solid content.
One of the nice bonuses was already mentioned above--the fact that my wife loved what we were doing on a part-time basis so much that she opened her own Yardsellr account.
In addition, we've gained more of a presence in our local community, supporting on a win-win basis the local church, civic, and private business groups that sponsor ministries helping the less fortunate, especially in this turbulent economy.
There are also business perks such as the many tax deductions we can claim to offset expenses; new affiliations with bankers, investment advisors, and other financial personnel; and a gradual increase in entrepreneurship strategies and skills.
Above all, we're locked into a lifestyle now that we truly believe we can continue engaging in for a good amount of time after my wife retires from her job. In other words, it's a business we won't be retiring from any time soon, God-willing.
Finally, I believe one of the best things I enjoy about what I'm doing today is that my two passions next to love of God and family--selling on eBay and writing for HubPages--are complementary of each other.
- My Goals for 2013
Whether or not you're one for making new year's resolutions, stay open and available to the possibilities and adventures of a purpose-driven life.
What's Ahead for 2013?
Obama and Romney, God bless them, are each promising a great deal to the American people for 2013-2016.
I'm not following suit, Instead, I'm just keeping things simple and listing a couple of goals I have in mind for our eBay business this coming year.
- Submit formal application to eBay requesting permission to become an eBay trading assistant
- Apply for a drop shipping account; if I can't utilize it with eBay due to a potential conflict with the limited allotted time for uploading tracking information, I will utilize it with alternative online sites such as Yardsellr, Craigslist, Amazon, and others
- My wife and I will expand our buying campaigns to include out-of-state trips
- Contract with wholesale outfits in China
Epilogue--October 10, 2012
It's D-Day, Karen Hellier 's D-Day, and I (yikes!) still have four Hubs to complete in satisfaction of her Ten Hubs in Ten Days Challenge.
Funny...I should be pulling my hair out at this time, but I have an incredible sense of peace. Like there's no doubt in my mind that I will have the tenth and final Hub finished by 11:59 PM tonight, with a minute left to spare to finally exhale a huge sigh of relief.
I leaped off a cliff, and I landed...
Right smack dab in this very moment of time.
I am at peace. I will get the job done. I am strong, and I am capable, and I am a survivor.
My life is good. And I am loving every single minute of it...