A couple of weeks ago I took the plunge. I jumped head first into the world of Amazon FBA (if you’re not totally familiar with what that means don’t worry – more to come in that topic). Maybe not head first, I’m kind of dipping my toes in but I’m certainly giving it a go. I have thought about giving this a try a couple times before. Finally I figured what do I have to lose (besides maybe hundreds… hopefully not thousands… of dollars). As I reflect on the series of events in my life that led up to this decision, I realize it’s a perfect storm of circumstances. So how did I get here and where am I going? Honestly I have no idea where I’m going so we’ll skip that part. Here’s a bit about my life that brought me to this point:
- I often don’t think a desk job is my destiny – I’m currently employed at an awesome company as an engineer. I love my job and sometimes I’m actually pretty good at it. Yet, I often long for the freedom of doing “my own thing.” Perhaps it’s because I’m technically a (really old) millennial. I feel like the traditional 9–5 is not the way I want to live the rest of my life. I envision a world where I can make my own hours and spend more time with my family. Doesn’t everyone?
- I have the heart of an entrepreneur – I’ll admit, “entrepreneur” is a buzz word these days. You could probably add “startup”, “founder”, “owner”, “venture”, “bootstrap”, etc. to that list of cool terms to mention at cocktail parties. I can accept that 90% of people these days want to be the CEO of a company. Yet, I cannot deny the burning desire in my heart to be the captain of my own ship. I recall my mom telling me one day, “you shouldn’t work for someone else.” I’m paraphrasing because I don’t specifically remember what she said. Truth be told she doesn’t ever remember saying it but I’m still rolling with it. I love the thrill of the process of creating something of value for others. A few years ago I was fortunate to receive my MBA from a Big Ten school in the heart of corn country. I’d be lying if part of my motivation behind that wasn’t learning how to start my own business. **Spoiler alert: this may not be the goal of MBA programs. Proceed with caution.** I have been blessed with many opportunities to dabble in the world of entrepreneurship. I have been apart of Lean Startup programs and am working on a venture (there’s that buzz word) with a buddy as we speak. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m not working on a side project I would likely waste away.
- Family is my life – I’m not ashamed to say that (capital G) God is my #1. I’d be happy to write other rants about how that plays out in my life. It essentially comes down to me being an inherently terrible person in need of a Savior (to be continued…). After God, its family. The definition of family has evolved for me over the years. Today it means a loving wife and 3 ridiculous children. I’ve always longed to spend more time with my family and have the freedom to be present in their lives more often than I am now. That has many aspects. One particular aspect that contributed to my FBA decision is the desire to include my family in my side projects. Many people suggest retail arbitrage as a way to get started in FBA. That essentially means sell things for more money than you used to buy them. In order to do so, you have to enjoy bargain hunting. That’s where my family comes in, particularly my wife. Bargain hunting is in her genes. If Goodwill had groceries I’m not sure we would ever shop anywhere else. I thought that finding something my wife would also enjoy would be a great way to spend more time together and add another dimension to our relationship. What better business partner than your actual life partner?
So that’s essentially how I got here. I have zero retail or e-commerce experience. I like to think that I have the necessary drive to be successful but that’s TBD. At one time in my life I made a killing off of clipping coupons like a fool so I think I could get the hang of the arbitrage thing. This is definitely a new ventu… err hobby so we’ll see how it goes. I have been known to start things and never finish so there’s always that option. For now, I’m looking forward to enjoying the journey and learning about a whole new world… cue the Aladdin music.
If you’re interested in how things go, don’t worry. I’ll keep you posted.