AMAZON FBA Update – January 2017

Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.

Hi, welcome back for another week of The Bootstrap Boutique, where beginners build businesses, glad you’re here.

So I thought I thought today that I would just give you an update on what I’ve been doing with the Amazon FBA Private Label product business line that I am starting. Because I haven’t talked about it for a while.

Wire Issues

I have some sort of issue with my bank where when I send a wire to my supplier in China, it takes forever for them to get it.

So I go in, and I fill out the paper work and you sign your life away and send all your money to China and then it’s like…crickets. And it’s not that my supplier is going dark on me, it’s just that it takes forever for them to get those wires and their expectation is that I say, “Hey I’m going to go send you a wire today.” They’re like, “cool, I’ll let you know when we get it,” and then they don’t get it.

And it takes weeks. And with the Christmas holiday and the Fed Funds wires I guess down for the Christmas holiday it’s been taking even longer.  I sent a wire to China to my supplier about the mid…the first week of December? I mean, it’s been a while and uh, they don’t have it yet.

So… I’m not freaking out. I’m not freaking out. Not going to do it.

FNSKUS

Because you guys know I like to share the warts and all approach to how I am starting this business I wanted to tell you about something that I realized that I did wrong for this first shipment and it’s not the end of the world, it’s only a 500 unit test order, but just to make sure that its something that you’re aware of. Because you don’t want to do this too.

So when you label products to sell on Amazon, there’s a few things that you need, right? You need the name of your company, you need the name of the product, you need what its made out of, you need country of origin or where its made, so Made in China. Those are all pretty basic things, UPC code, you need those to sell anywhere.

Amazon has another identifier that they use also called a FNSKU.  And I’m not sure, because if I was sure I would have done it already, if that has to be on the actual label or just on the bag or like, where that needs to be. So probably it should be on the label that is going to go on the outside of all of my bags but it’s not. I don’t have that actually set up yet with Amazon so I don’t have it.

So I think what I’m going to have to do is actually make my own labels with just the FNSKU on them and affix them to each of the 500 bags by hand. See what I mean?  Its, its…I can do it you know, 500 is not like 50,000 but  really could have saved myself some time if I had researched that first.

New Seller Restrictions Lifted

I guess the good news is that the December 19th, 2016 deadline has come and gone and Amazon is now letting new sellers sell there again but its not like I just had products sitting here waiting to go out, I did not get a product launched in 2016.  2017 is going to be my year, right?

So that’s where I am with the Amazon stuff and that’s why I haven’t talked about it a lot because I honestly, for a month almost have been waiting on a wire to go through  My product is in China ready to be shipped and I can not wait to get it here but that’s what I’m doing right now is waiting.

Office Tour

A couple of other things, I should probably address the elephant in the room.  We’ve moved.  We moved over Christmas because we are crazy people and this is my new office space. The seller kindly left this tapestry handing on the wall. It is not gorgeous but it’s covering the fuse box so I guess it will stay there.  It’s the only soft thing in the whole room right now, theres no carpet, there’s no drapery, or anything like that, so I apologize for the sound I’ll work on trying to research a little mic to make our sound better.

But I’ve got my work computer over here, my laptop and this whole space is a mess. I wish you could see it. We also have a weight rack over here, a squat bench set up. I should just do a fun little office tour for you guys so you can see what I am working with right now.  It will get better, but it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. One of those things.

The End

So anyway, that is an update on what’s going on in my life as well as my Amazon life and I can’t wait to have an update for you soon to show you some boxes and be like, “Hey guys, my products are here, I’m super excited” but that day has not come yet. Make sure you’re subscribed to the channel, I post new videos every Monday and Wednesday and I know you don’t want to miss one. Would love a thumbs up on the video if you enjoyed it, down in the comments below just tell me this time, whats new with you? Are you launching a new FBA product are you also working and living in a disaster area? I’d love to hear all about it and I will talk to you next week guys. Take care!

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My 2017 Word of the Year – YES

Happy New Year!

Hey welcome back to another episode of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses, I am so glad you’re here.

Last week I shared with you in the last week of 2016 the goals that I wanted to accomplish in the first quarter of 2017 and in about two weeks I’m going to shoot an update video to let you know how I’m doing with those things, but what I wanted to talk about today is something that is going to span the whole year.

And that is my word of the year.

Lots of people do words of the year, its something that they try to carry through the whole year and I’ve always thought it was a really special and powerful thing and so I thought, yeah, I should probably do that for this year.  And hopefully you have a word of the year that you can share with me also.

So I kind of think of the word of the year as an affirmation. What do I want to keep my mind focused on as I go through the year because we all know it gets really tough to stay focused sometimes.  So I’ve thought about this a lot in the last few weeks of December and what I’ve decided my word of the year is going to be is “Yes.”

As someone with an already pretty full plate, saying yes to things seems a little crazy.  I probably should be saying no to more things, but you know, your life is your life and you get out of it what you put into it, so I want to make a point of saying yes more often and doing things that take me out of my comfort zone.

So yes to launching more products on Amazon, yes to doing outreach to you guys who watch these videos and learn something from them, yes to actually, and this is the scary one for me, going out to a conference or event somewhere this year in the real world. Yes to opportunities that come my way, even the ones I’m not expecting or planning for, I just cannot wait to see where 2017 takes all of us and I really hope that you’ll stay along for the ride.

I would love to know if you have a word of the year, and if you do, what is it? Words of the year typically are things that are very positive, so it might be family, it might be yes, it might be no, because no can also be positive if you are just way overstuffed in your life. It could be passion, it could be authenticity, it could be learning, it could be growing, it could be simplicity. Whatever is important to you, whatever you need to draw back into through the year, make that your word of the year.  Put it up somewhere where you can see it and lets go.

Lets do it, let’s make this an awesome year.

Thank you so much for being here today, I was getting ready to say make sure to subscribe because I post new videos every Wednesday, but as you know, we are moving that editorial calendar so now I’m going to post new videos on Monday, those are going to be mindset videos, motivational videos all about starting a business and how our heads sometimes get in the way, and on Wednesdays its going to be focused on Amazon FBA stuff.

So instead, I say to you, be sure to subscribe, we post new videos every Monday and Wednesday. Thumbs up if you enjoyed this video  please comment below. Tell me your word of the year and come back next week. Take care guys!

Goal Planning for 2017 (First Quarter)

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Hey welcome back to another episode of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  This is the last video for 2016.  I feel like there should be streamers or something is anyone else excited for 2016 to be over? This has been a weird year and I am ready for a fresh start.

So in my video last week I told you that today I would be sharing my goals for 2017 and that is exactly what I am going to do.  Who says there’s no truth in advertising anymore.

I also mentioned that even though I do have some big goals for 2017, I have broken then down per quarter.  So today I’m really just going to be talking about what I want to get done in the first three months of 2017.  These goals relate to both The Bootstrap Boutique and growing this channel and then also my Amazon private label business.

The first goal is to have five thousand followers on my Twitter account by March 31 of 2017.

Kind of a subgoal of that is that I want to be more engaged on Twitter so I’ve given myself the number of hitting one thousand tweets in that first quarter also. Now why do I want to do that?  Well, let’s be honest I want more reach and growth here at The Bootstrap Boutique and Twitter has been my number one referrer for new followers.  So how do I plan to do that? Really, it’s just by being very engaged and active on Twitter and sharing good content. I share a lot of other people’s content and I share a lot of these videos that I post and I think that you get back what you put out.  So the more people that I’m finding to follow, the more I’m sharing interesting stuff, that’s going to attract followers back to me also.

The second goal for Q1 is to read and review here at The Bootstrap Boutique three business books.

Ok, that’s kind of easy, that’s one book a month. Why do you want to do that Megan? Well, because readers are leaders, have you ever heard that saying before? And there are so many good business books out there that I just haven’t been reading lately, that’s not something that I’ve been focused on.  In the past I’ve read so many books and lately I’ve just been playing on Reddit and that’s the wrong answer for growing a business. So by holding myself accountable and saying that I’m going to review them here on the channel and also share them with you guys, I think that’s going to be great motivation for me to actually hit that goal and get it done.

Here’s an Amazon goal.  I have ordered 500 units of my first product as kind of a sample test run and I want to in the first quarter sell out of all those units.

Now on a number of units sold per day basis that doesn’t sound like a lot, if you divide it out by 90 or however many days are in the first quarter.  But remember, I don’t even know when I’m going to get a product live at Amazon. I can’t ship anything until December 19th, I’m still waiting on my shipment of those products to get here to the States and then I’ve got to do photos and listings and get it shipped in and all that good stuff.  So it’s going to be I think kind of a hustle to sell out in first quarter.  What’s the why for wanting to totally sell out of that inventory in three months? I need to make some money. And it’s not just like I want to make some money because its going to make me rich or whatever this first quarter but I have put a lot of effort and a lot of cold hard cash into sourcing this product into getting set up on Amazon and I’ve put some money into this Bootstrap Boutique YouTube channel also.  So I need to start getting a return on my investment. And I want to order more stuff, I want to place a bigger order and get those volume discounts.  I can’t do that until I get that cash back out of sales so I want to sell out of this stuff.  I also would like to have some confirmation that this was actually a good product sell on Amazon and the way to do that is to see sales.

The next goal is two hundred followers here on the YouTube channel.

I’ve seen pretty good growth on my YouTube channel so far in 2016, I’m not mad about it at all. And I’m glad all of you guys are here watching every week and I super appreciate that, you know that. But I do want to continue to grow the channel and to reach more people. Ok Megan, why do you want to do that? Because you’re going to get rich off AdSense?  No.  I think that there’s a message here at The Bootstrap Boutique that I will admit, I have not done a good job fully articulating yet but once I get my hands kind of around that better its going to be a message that can help people create what they want out of life.  So that’s on my, I got to do a better job about that, once I get there, more people will follow.

That ties in really nicely to my next goal which is to create twenty videos in Q1 to post on YouTube.

And you’re going, how is that possible? Because you only post once a week and theres twelve weeks in a quarter. Ohh but I’ve got something exciting to announce.  I’ll tell you right now. I am going to change my editorial calendar next year to post consistently on Mondays and Wednesdays and then probably every other Friday. So here’s what that’s going to look like. On Mondays I’m going to post videos that are all about Mindset and Motivation, so that’s for people starting a small business, have already started a small business, want to start a small business, and we all have these mental hangups, right? So I want to talk about things that are both motivational, inspirational, and that help you get in the right mindset to both start and run a successful business. On Wednesdays I’m going to post videos that are much more Amazon specific and Amazon private label FBA focused. As long as I’m hot on the private label train it will be Amazon stuff.  I do have some other ideas, I’ve mentioned an email course so if I start that email course I’ve been talking about, maybe in 2018, I might use that Wednesday spot to talk about how to do email courses or courses or email marketing or anything like that. Whatever I’m doing in business right then and learning about is what I’m going to share with you guys on Wednesdays. But I always want that to be a really actionable, tactical, specific and focused thing that you can take and if you’re doing the same thing that I’m doing, you can use it to help grow your business. Also what I’m planning right now is about every other Friday to check in on these goals and to monitor them so I can make sure I’m hitting them.  I find that accountability is really big when you come in and you say “hey I did this” or “I didn’t do it.” And that’s something that I love to see and with other bloggers that I’ve seen over the years and other YouTubers, like I mentioned Stefan James in the last video.  He does a monthly update, but because I’m doing quarterly goals, I want to do it more frequently than once a month so I think that every other Friday check in is going to work out well.

Another product focused goal is is to launch a second product into FBA.

I’ll be honest, this is a big stretch one for me, I’m not sure if I’m going to have the capital that I want to invest to put into there because we’ve got some stuff going on in real life that we’ve got to fund next year, but I definitely want to be well on the path during Q1 and if I can reach my other goal of selling out of the first product, then I’m going to be well set up to actually launch a second product.

Alright, last goal of the year, one I’m really excited about is to do more outreach of The Bootstrap Boutique out to other communities.  So I’ve brought people on to this page and interviewed them and I think that’s been a lot of fun to do, is to help expose you guys to other people. But I want to go out and leverage other communities also to bring the message of The Bootstrap Boutique.

So my goal in Q1 is to be interviewed by three different podcasters or appear on somebody else’s YouTube page as a collaboration.

Why do I want do to that? Again because I want to spread the message of The Bootstrap Boutique and the very basic nitty grittys of how to start a new business if you are a beginner.  That’s a lot to do in a quarter and I’m excited to get started.  So what I want you to do is in the comments below please tell me about what your goals are for next year and if there’s a way that I can help you achieve them, tell me that too because I would love nothing more.

That’s a wrap on 2016 guys it is time to go drink some champagne, sing some Auld Lang Syne and just enjoy the beginning of the New Year. I will see you in 2017 and surprise! I will be in a new house, so excited. We can stop looking at this stuff. Don’t tell me you’re not excited about that. Whew! Bye guys, take care!

How to Set SMART Goals and Connect Them To Your Why

It’s year end of course we’re talking about goal setting!

Hey welcome back for another week of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.

This week, we’re going to talk about setting goals for 2017. And I get it, you’re like, “Megan there are like five million videos on YouTube about how to set goals,” but you haven’t watched mine yet, so just keep listening.

I have been doing some brain storming for what I want to get accomplished in 2017 and to do that I am using the very common method of setting SMART goals.  What are SMART goals? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m sure you didn’t ask.

The word SMART is a way of making sure that you are setting goals that you can actually attain and that actually matter. So let’s break it down.

S is for Specific.

So your goal should not be next year I want to increase sales.  It should be next year I want to increase sales by five thousand dollars or by ten percent or whatever makes sense for you.

M is for Measurable.

Can you objectively measure that goal. So if you want to increase sales by five thousand dollars, thats a yes or no, that binary, you’re going to know if you hit it or not. You are also going to know how close you are to hitting it because five thousand is a hard number so when you’re at twenty five hundred dollars in excess sales, you know you’re halfway there.

A is for Actionable.

Your goal should be something that requires you to take action, not something that is passive.  If you’re increasing your sales next year by a specific dollar amount, you need to know, what kind of steps are you taking that is going to help you to actually hit that goal.

R is for realistic.

So if for my made up goal I want to increase sales by five thousand dollars, if I am in my current position where I have zero sales dollars for 2016 and next year I want to increase it by five thousand dollars, that’s a really big percentage change but its still realistic because its only five thousand dollars. If I said I want to go from zero to five hundred thousand dollars, is it doable? Yeah, maybe. But its not super realistic.

And T is for time based.

So in what time frame do I want to increase sales by five thousand dollars?  Do I want to do it in a month, in a quarter, in a year? That needs to be part of your goal.

Ok, now that we’ve got that all out of the way and hopefully are on the same page about what kind of goals we need to set for next year, I want to talk about something that I think is the most important that has nothing to do with the SMART acronym.

And that is your why.  All of the goals you set need to be tied into your big why.

Why do you do the things that you do?

Because if you’re goals are just to make a million dollars, but the reason why you are doing it is to spend more time with your family, but you’re not spending time with your family because you’re working all the time trying to make a million dollars, then you’re going to burn out on that and the million dollars is not going to make you happy because that is not what is motivating you, which is the spending time with your family.

So if your goals don’t make sense for your why its going to be extremely difficult to achieve them because working towards them is not whats filling you up internally and giving you motivation to keep working so hard day after day. And ultimately if those goals aren’t important to you, if they aren’t important to your big why, then you’re probably not going to achieve them.

So make sure as you’re reflecting over the next couple of weeks and you’re thinking about what you want to accomplish for next year, make sure its really tied into your why for why you do what you do.

I have decided to set quarterly goals instead of big annual goals, and for me that’s because I do have some big things that I want to accomplish next year but I wanted to break them down into smaller chunks so they feel more achievable. Also I think since this is my first year really working on those goals that having something smaller to aim at in a shorter time period will give me a sense of urgency because the time period is shorter but also a better sense of accomplishment because I should be able to get to Q1 and March 31 and say, “Yeah, I did those things.  Lets move on to the next.”

Oh and don’t worry, I’ll share all that in next weeks video.

The last thing that I wanted to say about goals is that I think the language that you use to make those goals is really important. And I really like what Stefan James of Project Life Mastery does.  He does a monthly update on all his goals and the language that he uses is so positive I think that it really helps him in fulfilling the things that he gets done every year.  If you go to Stefans blog which is projectlifemastery.com, and you read his monthly goal update reports, then you’ll notice that he uses language like, “I will easily…” So he might say I will easily grow my YouTube subscriber base by X or I will easily increase twitter followers by Y.

And at first I was like, why is he doing that? That sounds so cocky. But then I realized that there’s some interesting psychology going on there.

Because we do not do things that we think are going to be hard most of the time.  So if you are using your language to frame in your mind that something is going to be easy, then you’re going to do it and you’re probably going to exceed that goal. When you’re writing out your goals its important to say things like I have or  I will.  You don’t want to say I want to or I’m going to try to or things like that.  Because not to go Yoda on you but there is no try. You do it or you don’t do it.

So there’s my two cents on goal setting and I’d love to know your thoughts about SMART goals and you know, do you use them are you tired of hearing about them? Just tell me what your thoughts are down in the comments below.  Be sure to come back next week I will be sharing my goals for 2017 with you and I can’t wait for you to tell me about what you’re going to be working on in 2017 also. Don’t forget to subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already, we post new videos every Wednesday. And I will see you for the last time in 2016 OMG. Take care guys!

3 Business Lessons I Learned in 2016

I couldn’t figure out how to start this video.  Let’s just jump into it.

Hey welcome back to another week of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.

This week I wanted to share with you three things that I’ve learned in 2016, which I guess you could call my first year in business, if you don’t care about businesses making money.

The first thing that I have learned this year is that opportunity is everywhere if you’re willing to look for it.  So you know, I first got interested in ecommerce and selling online when I started reading the My Wife Quit Her Job blog.  And that opened my eyes to ecommerce in general because when I think about buying stuff online I think about the big guys, you know, Amazon and Amazon and Amazon and you get the point.  But reading about Bumblebee Linens and that story reminded me, there are so many online shops that I have bought from over the years that were just little mom and pops or least not Amazon size big or not Wayfair size big or something like that.

So you know, its definitely something that I have experience with as a consumer and why not look into something like that as a business.  And again, you know that from My Wife Quit Her Job I found the Amazing Seller and selling on Amazon and all that stuff.  So those are two great opportunities that I never would have found had I not been kind of looking again for a way to go into business for myself.

Now that I’ve got those two things as my primary focus I’ve found all these other ways that you can either go into business for yourself or just make some fun money on the side. For instance, you could earn money on YouTube. Now, I don’t have any illusions of ever making some kind of full time income from YouTube videos but its a really fun thing for me to do, I love to share it. And if it throws off a hundred dollars every six or eight months or whatever than thats cool but its certainly not life changing money. But there are absolutely people that make a living doing YouTube videos to create communities around that.

You could make money with blogging, or podcasting, or being an influencer on social media like Instagram, or Snapchat.  You could do conferences in person and online, you could do retail stuff, you could be a coach, you could sell a digital product.  I’m telling you, there are so many opportunities out there right now that when you start thinking you are going to do one thing it pretty soon becomes really hard to just focus on that one thing and not let your mind go off in a hundred different directions.  But I never would have known about all that stuff if I hadn’t been looking for it.  So when you start to look for opportunities, they are everywhere.  So start looking.

The second thing that I have learned is that the business game is always going to change and you’ve got to be ready to change with it.  Yeah, just since I even started researching the Amazon “thing” so many changes have taken place with selling on that platform.

Just little things like you can’t pay for reviews anymore, or if you’re a new seller you can’t even ship in the fourth quarter until they lift that restriction, or UPC codes have to come from GS1.  Uhhhh, yeah those are not small changes.

The future belongs to optimistic thinkers who are going to take those changes and find a way to integrate it into their business and make their business even better.  I think we should update Benjamin Franklin’s statement.  The only things that are guaranteed in life are death, taxes and change.

The third thing I’ve learned so far this year is that when you put yourself out there, things start to happen. Since I’ve started making these YouTube videos, since I have started to participate in online groups and discussions I have met so many awesome people and have actually been surprised to see the opportunities that have come my way.  And I’m like, “Whaaaat?”  I’m such a small fish in this pond but people want to reach out and make connections and help each other along, which is a beautiful thing and I’m just really excited to actually start doing some of that stuff.

And I know that this is only going to snowball going forward. I was listening to a recent Scott Voelker, The Amazing Seller, podcast and he was talking about all the different stuff he had going on and because he has made all these connections over the past few years that these opportunities have come to him that he never would have imagined. And that can happen for you too.

A couple of things you’ve got to do, you’ve got to be out there, people need to know who you are, and you’ve got to be willing to extend your hand first. Right? So you help other people and other people will help you.

Alright so we’ve got two weeks left in 2016 that is hard to believe, but let’s make sure that you are setting yourself up for success next year.  So, take some time today and reflect on what you have learned this year that’s going to help you in business next year.  Leave them down in the comments below.  Be sure to subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already.  We post new videos every Wendesday.

I will see you next week, take care!

How To Deal With Criticism.

Critics.  Yeah.

Hey welcome back for another week of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  I had a big old empty spot on my editorial calendar for this week and I really didn’t know what I wanted to talk about.

But then yesterday afternoon I was reading an article about a guy named Mark Bellissimo who is very big in the part of the world where I live.  Because I live in horse country and Mark Bellissimo is, lets call him an equine entrepreneur.

One of the many things he does is work to build equestrian sporting events into a much more popular and mainstream offering, whereas currently they’re really not at all.  So what that means is that the World Equestrian Games, which is a two week plus equestrian sporting event is going to be here in Western North Carolina.  This is only the second time that these games have ever even been in North America so to say its a big deal is an understatement.  So equestrian sporting events are generally considered kind of an elitist activity.  We’re not talking about horses on the farm that are used to work or ranching horses or anything like that, but show horses, that takes a lot of capital to get started in.  And because Mark wants to take this very kind of elitist activity and bring it out and make it more accessible to the masses, he has faced a lot of criticism for wanting to do that.

And yesterday I was reading this article about the World Equestrian games and about Mark and he gave this quote about criticism and that’s what I wanted to share with you today.

And criticism is something that I really struggle with and am kind of shielding myself from to a degree that I probably shouldn’t, but I will tell you that nobody in my personal life except for my husband even knows about this youtube channel at this point, nobody except for my husband and maybe two other people know about the Amazon private label business that I’m starting.  I just, its just not something that I have felt comfortable sharing with people that know and love me yet.  But you guys, yeah, I’ll talk to you all day about it.

So here we go. Mark was asked about a life lesson that he has to share and here is what he said about criticism.

Change is extremely hard for most people because they are invested in what they can know, feel and touch.  Add a level of uncertainty in the outcome of that change, and it creates fear.

That fear then evolves into resistance and criticism of the unknown and criticism of the individuals who are trying to effect that change.

This is true for most exploration and innovation in history.

The fact is that visions do not come with majority support, and the execution of that vision is filled with setbacks in the form of mistakes, failures and shortcomings that provide fodder for the critic.  In response to these setbacks, you can either quit, adapt, or get stronger, smarter and overcome.

If the critics prevail, if the status quo prevails, the changes and opportunities die.  You will never know what could have been.

Your willingness to persevere directly correlates with your belief in the outcome.

Because the ultimate fact is critics do not write great novels, produce great movies, build great buildings, invent cures, build companies or lead society.

They criticize.

Criticism is important to a process, but it should not be the lasting legacy.

Ok full disclosure that is not a direct word-for-word quote because I am not good at memorizing lines.  But how great is that? This is a guy that faced a lot of criticism from very powerful people for trying to do what he’s trying to do.  But he believes so much in his vision that he doesn’t care.  He’s willing to take the criticism because he knows its going to serve a greater purpose.

Which makes me feel a little silly when I’m sitting here thinking oh my gosh, what are my friends going to say when they discover this youtube channel one day? Well, I’m still nervous about that.

So I’m going to put a link down to that article below so you can go check it out for yourself and read the actual direct quote.  But I want you to keep this in mind when you hear somebody in your head or somebody in your real life saying, “uh huh I told you that you were just wasting your time with that” or however that form of criticism works in your life, because its something we all deal with.

Alright, down in the comments below today guys please tell me about how you face criticism and deal with it in your own life. And what kind of tools and tricks you use to overcome it. Thanks so much for joining me again this week don’t forget to subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already.  Thumbs up on the video, I’d appreciate that also and I will catch you next week.  Take care!

Horse Canada article here.

Rachel from Rethink 9 to 5 on Choosing Your Own Path

I recently got the chance to chat with Rachel of Rethink 9 to 5 about how and why she decided to start her own business. Rachel left a high powered job as a CPA to launch her consulting business where she both helps corporate employees choose their career ladder as well as working with those ready to make the leap to self employment.

Be sure to check out Rachel’s coaching program on her blog:

https://www.rethink9to5.com

Gratitude Week Day 4 – Online Business Gurus

Mariah Coz – Femtrepreneur

Bryan Harris – Video Fruit

Regina Anaejionu – By Regina

Do you know what’s better than Black Friday shopping?  Pretty much everything, but especially this.

Hey thanks so much for coming back for the last day of The Bootstrap Boutique Gratitude Week, it has been such a fun week, we have said Thank You to all sorts of different people here on The Bootstrap Boutique and I hope you’ve done the same in your life.

Today I am saying thank you to three people that I would call them online business gurus, they probably won’t like that term very much but its a good way for me to group them and to keep them straight in the old noggin.

What is interesting about all three of these people is that I follow them online, I read their blogs and I’m on their newsletters but I haven’t actually used any of their services yet, its definitely a part of my business that I see being useful down the road when I get actually some money coming in instead of just everything going out with the Amazon Private Label product business.  You know, when I’m actually ready to start growing the online portion of this business but like I said its a little bit down the road so I’m on their newsletters and stuff so I keep in touch and know whats going on but haven’t actually really dug in but still wanted to share these people with you also because you’re probably doing something different than I am and I bet one of these three people can help you do that thing.

So the first person that I am going to say thank you to is Mariah Coz.  I’m going to call her the online course guru.  Mariah’s specialty is really teaching people how to launch courses to teach other people on the internet.  Ok, if you ever want to go down that internet rabbit hole of learning how to set up a course to teach people something online, you will find that there are no shortages of people that want to make money by teaching you how to teach a course to make money.  But Mariah is the real deal.  One thing you should always look for in a business coach or a teacher is someone that has done the thing, not just in teaching a course on how to do the thing, but they’ve actually gone out and done it independently of that.  So Mariah has done that, she has taught different internet courses, and I think maybe even some in person, so Mariah had done the thing and has the chops to prove it.  So when I’m ready to go down that course path, I mentioned a long time ago that I have an email course in the back of my head but that’s probably not even until a 2018 type project, I know she’s there and will be ready and I can’t wait until I can learn from her.  So Mariah, thank you so much for putting that out there, thanks for letting me follow along on your newsletter even though I’m not a customer, but I probably will be one day, so let’s be friends thanks. Hey Mariah, can’t wait to work with you soon.  Thank you!

Ok next we have Bryan Harris and the team over at Video Fruit.  So for me, Bryan is synonymous with email list building.  And again I have been reading his blogs, I’ve listened to webinars he’s done, I’ve really gotten a lot of great information out of him just off the free stuff he provides and he again has courses that are available for how to build an email list and all that great stuff.  When I get there, sometime in 2017, not there yet, but we’re working on it. So Bryan I appreciate all the free information that you’ve given out already and I can’t wait to work with you sometime next year.   Alright Bryan, let’s get building some lists together next year.

Ok for my final Thank You of Gratitude Week 2016 I wanted to say Thank You to Regina Anaejionu. So Regina also does the online business/online course teachings.  But what I really love that she shares are her case studies.  Because if you go down that online rabbit hole of how to build a course or how to have an online business, you find all these people bragging about “here’s my six figure launch” “here’s where I made $150,000 off this launch.” Blah, blah, blah, blah.  That’s great but that really doesn’t help somebody that is brand new and trying to do something for the first time.  So Regina actually shared a case study recently about the very first time that she launched an online product.  And she did not make six figures, I’m not even sure she made five, I think it was in the four figures, but hey, guess what, that’s still a success!  I think I read that Regina is actually shutting down most of her courses and revamping them so I would love to say that I”ll be working with you in 2017 but I don’t know yet because I’ve got to see what you put out there but I do not doubt one bit that its going to be awesome.  So let’s just go ahead and pencil something in on the calendar. Hey Regina, let’s be friends!

Alright guys that is three internet/online business superstars that I know can help you build your business in 2017, but sure to check them out, I’m going to link them down in the description below.  And be sure that you are subscribed  to this channel, next week we are going to go back to our regular schedule where I will post on Wednesdays and look forward to talking to you then.  So make sure you come back.  Have a great week, take care!

Gratitude Week Day 3 – Podcasters

Today I’m saying thank you to Being Boss, The Scot and the Sassenach, Stacking Benjamins and Rob Has a Podcast!

On the surface these don’t have a lot to do with business. Just bare with me.

Hello welcome back to another day of The Bootstrap Boutique’s Gratitude Week, so, so glad you’re here.  I hope you guys are enjoying this series it certainly has been a lot of fun for me to think back on the year and the people and companies that have helped me do what I do.

So, today I wanted to talk about podcasts and not even necessarily business podcasts, but I’ve mentioned before I work from home so I’m by myself all day and while I do probably spend too much time on the phone, when I’m not on the phone it gets really quiet here. My dogs don’t talk, so I spend the day and fill the quiet by listening to podcasts.  So I really wanted to reach out and say Thank You to the people that are kind of in my head all day helping me to get through the days and not feel like I’m a lonely crazy person.

The first two ladies that I want to thank are Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon of Being Boss.  This is actually the only business podcast that is at all related to this side business that I’m doing.  These ladies walk the walk and talk the talk, so what I mean by that is that they are both small business owners and use that knowledge and that perspective to give a really awesome podcast to female creative entrepreneurs.  And I am like the last person on earth that would label myself as a creative entrepreneur, that’s not what I’m doing here, but I still get a lot of value just out of the stories they share and the perspective that they give on what its actually like to run a business.  Because obviously its not all roses but the freedoms that they have are really enviable and something that I definitely aspire to.  So got to shout it out to Emily and Kathleen, thank you so much for your podcast, I love listening, I don’t know that I’ve ever skipped an episode.  Maybe that one about moons, that might have been a little too much for me, but its so inspiring and I just love what you guys are doing and what you’re sharing with everybody so please, please, please never stop.  From The Bootstrap Boutique to Being Boss, we really love Bs and that’s awesome.  Thanks ladies!

Ok this next podcast you have definitely never heard me talk about before.  One of my guilty pleasures is a book series called Outlander and yeah that has recently become a popular TV show on Starz, which is like a subscription network, I don’t know I just watch it on Netflix.  But anyway, my husband makes fun of me because I like to read recaps of shows I’ve just watched, I don’t know why, it’s a thing about me as a person.  It’s there. Outlander, I actually found this podcast called The Scot and the Sassenach, which I’m not saying right, I’m just going to call it TSATS from now on.  But this podcast is produced by StoryWonk and that is a husband and wife team, Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stevens who is a Scot, Alastair is from Scotland, and Lani is from America so she is a Sassenach, I’m going to say that wrong again, or an Outlander, which is where the name comes from. I’m getting way too in the weeds here you don’t care about this.  What you need to know is that they talk so much about the story.  That is what their focus is on, they are always talking about the story.  Is this a good story? How does this story work? And it has really helped me in listening to that it does kind of you know, it gets in your head and it makes me think about what is the story I’m telling here at The Bootstrap Boutique.  Clearly I don’t have that figured out yet but it is something I think about quite a bit and look forward to continuing to mold as we go into 2017.  Really I just love the podcast and they used to do another podcast called The Lightbulb that I loved, it is now dearly departed but Lani, Alastair, thank you guys so much, you’re awesome and I just get a thrill!  Hey TSATS, thank you!

Alright so back to someone you guys have heard me talk about before and that is Stacking Benjamins and that podcast which is all about money and I know that’s not everybody’s favorite thing to talk about but I really enjoy it and if you think you might be interested at all, just know that they’re not like a really dry boring oh my gosh this is like sitting in econ 101 class.  Again, it really talks about money in a fun accessible way and so if that is something you think you might at all be interested in or at all need help with in your life, you got to listen to those guys.  Go check them out, Joe and OG will keep you entertained I promise you that.  So Stacking Benjamins, thanks guys you are awesome. Joe, Kathleen and everybody at Stacking Benjamins, Thank you thank you thank you!

The last podcaster that I have to say thank you to today is someone else that again I haven’t talked about here ever. But if you listen to podcasts, you may have come across this person before especially if you have any interest in reality television at all.  That would be Rob Cesternino at Rob Has a Podcast.  Now, you may think that there is no way you could make a living talking about reality tv, but turns out you’re wrong.  There’s a business model for everything I guess.  And I say that joking, but honestly you can’t talk about creating a community around something, anything, without thinking about Rob Cesternino and Rob Has A Podcast, Rob Has A Website, Rob Has A Planet, whatever it is that he’s created, its huge.  And people are so plugged in with what he’s doing 1) because he’s extremely humble and gracious 2) because you really get the sense that he cares about the people that listen to his podcasts and does things to include them whenever possible.  One of my favorite podcasts he does every year is Live Know It Alls, I’m not going to get into what Know It Alls are and live versus not live and all that, the point is that he goes out of his way every year to invite anybody that wants to come to a live taping of his podcast and people love it, it does sound like a lot of fun, if you’re super into Survivor.  I’m not sure how he does it but I’m fairly certain that Rob spends more hours podcasting in a week than there are actually hours in a week, so maybe some sort of voodoo magic, but it means that there’s always something to listen to, and for that, I thank you!  Rob Cesternino over at Rob Has A Podcast, thank you so much for keeping me entertained and for giving me somebody to talk about Survivor with.

Alright guys, that’s going to do it for today.  Be sure to come back tomorrow I’ve got some internet business guru people that I have got to say Thank You to.  So don’t forget, subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already so you don’t miss a video and come back for the last day of Gratitude Week.  Thanks guys, take care!

Gratitude Week Day 2 – Youtubers

Amy Schmittauer – Savvy Sexy Social

Sunny Lenarduzzi – The Sunny Show

Benji Travis & Sean Cannell – Video Influencers

Stefan James – Project Life Mastery

 

So I was thinking, if I want to say thank you to my favorite youtubers, today’s video should probably at least be in focus.  I tried.

Hey welcome back for another day of The Bootstrap Boutique Gratitude Week where today I’m saying thank you so much to some of the people that have really helped me better.

That is not damning with faint praise, I’ve learned a lot from you guys, the student is just a little slow on the uptake.

So the first person that I really want to say thank you to is someone that I found by googling how to do very basic youtube functions.  Very basic.  Hey Amy Schmittauer, you knew I was going to ask those dumb questions and you were there for me with videos about how to schedule a post on youtube to post at a later date and all kinds of good stuff like that so thank you so much for all those tactical videos that you have posted over the last few years they have been super helpful to me as I have asked really basic you tube questions that I would be way too embarrassed to ask in real life.  Hey Amy, for real though, thanks so much for all those videos. Keep killing it.

Next I have to say thank you to Sunny Lenarduzzi  not only for facebook, no.  Next I have to say Thank you to Sunny Lenarduzzi not only for Youtube videos but for all things social media and also your be your own boss mastermind that you have on facebook.  I love that group, everybody is super engaged and involved and I have to tell you, that I’m a member of quite a few facebook groups and no other “owners” are as in the weeds and as involved and there as you are.  So thanks for always showing up there, thanks for being so accessible, for answering questions thanks for all the trainings that you have given its just been awesome to learn from you this year.  Thanks Sunny, I really appreciate it.

Ok next I actually have two people and that is Benji and Sean of Video Influencers.  These guys are awesome for talk about how to grow your reach and spread your influence and impact on youtube. I’ve learned alot about the behind the scenes stuff the SEO, the keyword research, the reaching out to others from these guys.  So any growth that I have had in my channel this year, which has been a little bit but more than I would have done on my own, is really a lot in thanks to these guys for being so willing to share all that information.  So Benji, Sean, thank you guys.  Video Influencers, thank you.

Now for my last thank you today, I’ve got to talk to Stefan James of Project Life Mastery.  His Youtube channel is not so much about how to have a you tube channel, although he does talk about that.  But what he has really shown me is how you can use a youtube channel to support your other business and that is absolutely something that I plan on doing with my Amazon private label business so it’s really, watching his videos has just opened me up to a whole different way to think about youtube and how to use youtube as a marketing tool as well as just like an information sharing, lets get to know each other and talk about our stuff that we have going on which is currently how I use youtube, way to use youtube.  That was a run on sentence.  I apologize.  But Stefan has really shown me how to do that and I don’t know if that’s something I would have thought of on my own, so I owe you a wheat grass shot, or whatever it is that you’re always drinking on your snapchats.  I’d probably just go with whiskey but we can do whatever.  Stefan, Project Life Mastery, thank you sir!

Alright guys that is four great youtube channels that I definitely think you should check out if you’re interested in using youtube for marketing, if you’re interested in using it to share ideas, if you need to find out how to get more likes on your cat videos.  No judgement but definitely check those videos out below they are all going to be linked down in the description.  Don’t forget to come back tomorrow where we are going to be doing thank yous to another group of people that honestly help get me through the day, every day working from home.  So be sure to subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already so you don’t miss it.  I will talk to you tomorrow guys, take care!