To blog or snuggle with the cat... is it really a choice?
My loyal readers (hello... anyone?) may have noticed quite a lack of new content on this blog. Truth be told, I have had trouble managing my time these past few months. As much as I love to brag about the perfect balance I have found and maintained between picking, selling, working the regular job, spending time with my wife, and everything else I want to do, I have once again let things slip.
As obligations at my day job ramped-up, simultaneously with some other outside projects coming to fruition, I found myself beginning to feel those old pangs of stress creeping. Sure, things were going great, but with each passing week I felt like I was running out of time and things were not getting done. To keep up with work and other obligations, I started to sacrifice other time consuming activities. In fact, I wasn't really even conscious of making a choice of what to sacrifice, it just started to happen.
Without realizing it, I was eating meals in front of the computer. I was finding myself resentful of my picking trips if they didn't result in pure gold. I was loosing sleep and getting sloppy at work and with my online sales. Finally, when one of my eBay items had a problem in the mail, I lost it. After yelling at the computer for a few minutes, I realized I had lost my balance.
As I've stated in previous posts, the amount of money that can be made with Part Time Picking is directly related to how much time and energy you put in. I was making decent money with my online sales, but I was sacrificing my time, and the sacrifice had gotten too great. So I made some adjustments.
First on the chopping block was this blog. Rather than delete it entirely, I just didn't worry about making new posts regularly. I have several awesome drafts started, but until I have the time and energy to properly complete them, you'll just have to be in suspense. I do see that some of my older posts are getting hits and hopefully are helping other Pickers (particularly the Amazon Best Sellers Rank post), so even if new posts are scarce, I'm going to keep those older ones up.
Next, I re-evaluated my floor. No, I'm not talking about the hardwood floor in my apartment (although looking at it now, it could use a mopping). I'm talking about what the minimum profit I am willing to make from an item I'm selling on eBay or Amazon. Previously, I would sell books for as cheap as five bucks (with a profit of just a few bucks). The time it took to process and package those books was worth it, particularly because I would be selling several a day and had the time to spare. But with my new time crunch, I wasn't so sure. With my adjusted, higher Amazon profit floor, I may be selling less items, but each one is worth my time. EBay, which is even more time consuming with the listing writing and such, got a similar audit. Instead of going to the post office nearly every day, I'm only going two ro three times a week.
And, who knows, I may readjust my floor back down when my time frees up or I need to raise some extra funds. But for now, I'd rather have the extra time and the extra bucks.
Finally, I made the choice to refocus my picking energies. I was finding myself searching for re-sellable items in all sorts of genres that really had no interest for me. I just wasn't enjoying my time searching and picking. I may have learned a bit about other valuable items, but without the fun of researching items I was interested in, it felt like a job.
That was almost two months ago, and so far so good. While my Part Time Picking income has certainly decreased, I feel like I've gotten a bit of my life back. I've been enjoying my picking time a lot more lately. I've been cooking and eating meals at a table with my wife again. My productivity at the day job has also gone up.
And an funny thing also happened. When I refocused and refined my picking time and energy, I've suddenly had some really successful auctions and Amazon sales. For the first time I made over $100 profit on a book sale. I had several eBay auctions exceed $100 (with one going over $400!) recently, which is pretty rare. Coincidence?
Yeah, I'm sorry I haven't been attentive to this blog. It seems like some of my projects are near completion so hopefully I can get some good writing done here soon. I've got some great things to discuss with you, and I really appreciate that you have taken the time to check it out.
So, remember, have fun out there and take the time to take care of your time.