Where Do You Find Products To Sell on the Internet?

This post is written by Christine Olson founder of BooksMN.com.

When we started blogging in 2006 I was making 75K in revenue and shooting for 150K. In 2008 I will do over 200K. Not bad for a one woman home-based business.

Lots of people ask me how I do it. But one of the most frequent questions people ask is…

Where do you find your products?

I am going to let the secret out of the bag. Where do people buy all this product they sell online? Is there a big secret website everyone goes to and picks this stuff up?

The answer to that question is simple. But the reality of finding the right products to sell at the right price is not so simple, but that’s another post.

The big secret…

People find products to sell at Trade Shows. You must travel, you must do research, and you must negotiate deals. You will make mistakes, you will get stuck with stuff that doesn’t sell, you may get ripped off, but you will learn. It can take years to find a set of dependable vendors.

First you need to decide what kind of products you want to sell. Are you going to sell NEW products or discount merchandise? If you are going to sell NEW products you need to find trade shows that specialize in your particular product. If you want to sell Golf Equipment, go to Golf Trade Shows or Sporting Good Shows. Google “Golf Trade Shows” and you will get several results. Do you want to sell jewelry or buy gems to make your own jewelry? Vegas has several shows a year just for jewelry merchants. Not sure what you want to sell? Attend one of these. Do you want to sell discount merchandise? Go to this variety show. You will be overwhelmed, but it will give you great ideas.

While books are the majority of my business, I also sell DVDs, audio books, diaper bags, and other items I find at trade shows that I think will be profitable. In the past I’ve sold board games, knick-knacks, dollhouse furniture, and purses.

To purchase merchandise at trade shows, you must set yourself up as
a business
.

After attending several trade shows you will have collected a sizable list of websites and phone numbers. You will start receiving catalogs and things will begin to fall into place.

To find out more about how you can start your own internet based business check out Skip McGrath’s site.

A Wonderful Example of the Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I posted about 200 people who lost their homes and all their possessions in an apartment fire. 19 Families were living in the local High School.

Today, I read that an anonymous donor gave $1,000,000 to the fire victims. That is over $17,000 for each leaseholder!

Maria Aguilar broke down crying. “We for sure need it,” she said. “Because what I have on, that’s just what we have. Nothing else.”

Jackie Weller says she’ll be able to get a new apartment, bed and couch.

“There might be a Grinch, but he’s not in Burnsville Minnesota, that’s for sure,” Weller said.

What an amazing act of caring and generosity. Lately we’ve heard so many stories about greed, selfishness, and corruption. But this story stands in sharp contrast.

I truly believe that most people are good and will do the right thing when given the chance.

God bless and Merry Christmas to All!

This Christmas You have the Opportunity to Help Others

The Christmas season is about giving.

Yesterday a nearby apartment building erupted in flames leaving 200 people homeless in sub-zero temperatures. 19 families, three days before Christmas, are living in the Burnsville Minnesota High School.

Charles Wylie was doing laundry when the fire broke out. It didn’t
seem like a big deal at first, he says. “It didn’t even look like it
was going to spread to our apartment.”

But the fire quickly spread from one end of the building to the
other. Wylie figures everything he owns is gone, including Christmas
gifts for his three kids.

Many of the people who live in this apartment building have very little to begin with. So if you can afford to give something, here’s your opportunity.

The Goodman Group, which manages the complex, has created a fund
for the victims. There hasn’t been time to setup a website, so if you you’d
like to donate to the victims:

Make Checks Payable to:
U.S. Bank/Burncliff Apartments

Mail Checks to:
The Goodman Group
1107 Hazeltine Blvd #200
Chaska, MN 55318

You can contact the Goodman Group at (952)
361-8000.

Thanks so much for reading steve-olson.com.
The Olson family wishes you all a very Merry Christmas!

The Best of the Interweb 12-19-08

Tina Su rocks. I’ve always loved her blog Think Simple Now. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better she writes Overcoming Fear in an Economic Crisis. This is the part that should get your attention:

Suddenly, my hard earned, frugally saved, carefully budgeted savings appeared to have been chopped in half. Given that I don’t have guaranteed income, I am a single woman, and my net worth just declined significantly, conventional wisdom would say that I should be worried. I should be freaking out! But I’m not. I’m pretty happy, actually.

Why?

What can I change by becoming upset, anxious, or nervous? Nothing. By complaining or allowing my body to suffer through anxiety, I will accomplish nothing.

Then she goes on to share helpful advice. One point which is…

4. Stop Spreading Fear

Stop complaining about your economic pains, stop forwarding news articles of fear to your friends, stop talking about it, and start doing things within your control. If your immediate basic needs are threatened (ie. loss of job, shelter and food), take action, massive action, to help yourself. The only exception to talking about your economic situation is when you ask for help from others during a time of need.

They should give Tina a show on CNN! I’d watch it.
Continue reading The Best of the Interweb 12-19-08

Conquering Fear


Photo by Alice Popkorn

Would you like to overcome anxiety?

The only antidote to fear is consistent, repetitive, courageous action.

The majority of people avoid public speaking. They fear it more than death.

  • Are you one of the people who are afraid of public speaking?
  • Would you like to overcome it?
  • Do your hands shake?
  • Can you feel your throat tighten?
  • Does your voice feel weak?
  • Can you feel your voice quiver?
  • Does your heart pound so hard you can hear it?

Yes to all? Me too.

I don’t get the chance to speak in public often, but when I do, I always get symptoms of fear. That’s why I accept every opportunity I have to speak in public.

Let me give you a quick anecdote.

Continue reading Conquering Fear

Delay Gratification – Now!

Thanks to Copyblogger, I found a great blog, the CEO Blog – Time Leadership written by Jim Estill CEO of Synnex Canada. Jim’s post on Copyblogger – Shorter is Better was tearing it up on Twitter a few days ago. Graywolf (Michael Gray) wrote, “ if you read only one post this day, this month or this year this is the post it should be Shorter is Better.”

Jim also has a lot to offer us on his own blog. The most credible blogs are written by those with proven success. If you are looking to improve and grow, listen to guys like Jim. His record stands on its own.

In a recent post Jim writes about how a failure to delay gratification has led to our economic situation. I couldn’t agree more.

Success will come to those who consistently give more than they take, who do more than expected, and who wait patiently for rewards.

The cries “I want mine and I want it now” are the cries of adult children who have yet to mature.

There are no get rich quick schemes. They are all lies.

But I’ve never seen someone fail who consistenly gives more than is expected.

21 Surefire Ways to Stay Motivated


Photo by Tomoyoshi

Have you set a goal (like a business plan or a weight loss regimen) in a burst of energy and excitement, only to find after a few weeks the excitement fades? Your progress slows, then stops, and you regress to where you started? Unfortunately, for many of us, this has become a habit. Regardless if the goal involves diet, exercise, money, education, relationships, business, or career, the pattern is the same, a peak of euphoria, optimism, and creativity, followed by a trough of fatigue, boredom, and loss of interest.

Quitting is a habit. The habit is reinforced by your emotional state which is always experiencing peaks and valleys.  The good news is, habits can be changed with persistence and effort.

I’ve gathered 21 tips (from mentors, books, and blogs) that will help you stay motivated to achieve your long term goals:
Continue reading 21 Surefire Ways to Stay Motivated

Are You a Career Renegade? Check Out Jonathan Fields New Site.

If you haven’t heard about this fantastic new site already, go check it out. It’s called Career Renegade and it is run by Johnathan Fields.

Many of you have lost your jobs, others are worried about losing yours soon. The news keeps telling us the economy is spiraling out of control. But it is a choice to view it as a disaster or an opportunity. It doesn’t matter how you choose to view it, what is happening is what is happening. Jonathan wrote The Firefly Manifesto which could help you re-frame your fear into hope. If you are feeling the slightest bit fearful or depressed about the economy, I suggest you read it.

On his site Johnathan profiles people who have turned adversity into opportunity. In his first installment he talks to Naomi Dunford who was once a pregnant, 17 year-old high school dropout. She now runs a $200,000 business from her kitchen table. Check her out at http://ittybiz.com/.

I can’t tell you how much I love to read these stories.

Hat Tip to Brian Clark at Copyblogger.

Do Personal Development Blogs Make You Feel Uneasy? I May Know Why

I have always been uneasy about the personal development industry. Something about it seemed unbalanced. I was never sure why, except to say that I couldn’t see myself consistently writing some of the content I see standard on personal development blogs. The content interests me, but something seems missing. Something seems wrong. Now I think I’ve discovered why I felt this sense of unease.

The Problem

In July I wrote 11 Ways to Build an Extraordinary Life and it did well in social media. I couple of days later I was working with a marketing group showing how list posts are constructed and the amount of traffic they can generate when executed correctly. Then someone asked, “Do you live an extraordinary life?”

I answered, “yes I do. Well… I try.”

I could tell he was skeptical. He’s right, I might think I live an extraordinary life, but to the outsider my life appears ordinary. However, I did point out that few of us live the ’11 Ways’ I listed in my post, and if you did, you certainly would live an extraordinary life.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits touched on this subject in a recent post:

Recently I read an old post about why another blogger doesn’t like
Zen Habits, and it centered around the idea that she thought I was
preaching to readers as if I’m perfect. And I thought to myself, “Boy,
I hope people don’t think I’m perfect!”

Because the truth is, I’m far from it. I have problems like everyone
else. I struggle with productivity and procrastination and losing
weight and losing my patience and everything else, just like you do.

I wrote a post about learning not to fear the economic crisis and got a
similar response. Posting positive news while others are suffering can cause ill will. You can appear to be a boasting know-it-all.

Sometimes when I read personal development blogs I feel the same way. How can this guy live such a perfect and productive life? I struggle with making money, being productive, staying focused, blogging, being a good father and husband.

Authenticity

I don’t want my readers to think I’m some perfectionist pollyanna, I’m not, so I purposely try to let my imperfections show. To me, it is the only way to be authentic and transparent. That’s why I’ve made this blog the way it is, this is a human story, and like me, it is imperfect.

Writing for the Reader

But I know why Leo at Zen Habits writes the way he does. He isn’t perfect, but he is a great writer who writes for you. You don’t want to read about my problems, or Leo’s problems. You need answers to your problems. You don’t want to read complaints. There are plenty of other people telling you how rotten the world is. Leo is an oasis in a desert of negative news and I love and respect him for what he’s done.

Negativity is the way most people’s minds work by default. No one needs to practice negative thinking, it comes natural. We all need to practice re-framing our situation in the most positive light possible, especially when times are tough. Feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere, and most of you know that in your hearts. But we all need to be reminded sometimes.

What its Really About

Productivity/personal development writers aren’t saying they are perfect. They are trying to inspire positive change in the world by showing others what is possible. They are trying to inspire people to reach their potential in spite of imperfections.

This isn’t about perfection, it is about improvement.