Today, I’m happy to have as a guest blogger, Toni Hogan! Toni and I have met once in real life and she keeps me cracking up on Facebook. I’ve watched Toni’s entrepreneurial life and her desire to help others succeed is obvious. She’s sharing her story here on her latest passion and how it’s working for her. She also talks about finding your niche and how you owe it to yourself to find the thing that truly excites you and makes you money!
I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I have been for over 17 years. I’ve had many successes and many…well, great learning experiences. My longest running business was as a tax preparer for the home daycare niche, followed by an interesting career in real estate. In between, I’ve owned a competitive cheerleading gym, a mobile preschool gymnastics business, a home tending service, and a coworking center. During my 17 years as a tax preparer, I was also a business consultant for the home daycare and real estate niches.
Regardless of the length of the time spent in any particular business, I’ve never felt like a failure. I gained significant value from each experience. By the end of 2014, though, I began to feel drained. I am a giver by nature, but I don’t like giving in vain. I know the value I offer and it was very disheartening to me when my clients, and others, didn’t implement the strategies we created for their businesses. Even when they had paid me, I felt it was a waste of both our time.
So, I decided to put everything on hiatus for 2015. My goal was to only focus on that which benefited my family. Was that a little selfish? Maybe. But, I’ve learned that we all need implement a little self-preservation sometimes, lest we self-destruct. What I could not have imagined is what that would look like. Oh, I thought I knew, but I really wasn’t prepared for what happened after I made that declaration.
I had received an email about Amazon FBA. What? Keep reading. I had already been earning a little money (very little) as an Amazon affiliate, so I was curious. What I eventually learned about Amazon FBA blew my mind.
In November, I listed a Clear Wireless internet modem on Amazon for $53. We’d only paid $25 for it two years prior. It sold in less than 24 hours. Curious, I thought I’d try it again. I listed a few books we had on our bookshelf. One of them was Daymond John’s book, The Brand Within. The book originally sold for about $15. We sold it in five days for $57. That’s when I decided it was time to try Amazon FBA.
FBA is short for Fulfilled by Amazon. Instead of packaging and shipping items at home, we send everything to the Amazon fulfillment centers and let Amazon handle the logistics. It’s like having an entire warehouse staff without the overhead.[tweet_box]Of all the businesses I’ve started over the past 17 years, selling physical products via Amazon FBA has been the easiest to start with the fastest return on investment. [/tweet_box]
We’re generating a gross profit of 30-35 percent on sales, with an actual return on investment of more than 100 percent. Obviously, there is a lot more detail behind the numbers. But, my point is to illustrate the potential for this business.
Don’t get me wrong, it requires a lot of work. However, the reward makes it worth it. We have to do research to find profitable products, procure the products, prep and ship to Amazon FBA. Once our products reach the fulfillment center, Amazon handles sales and fulfillment to customers. On our end, we still have the other administrative duties of accounting and tracking profitability. To be honest, this business requires possibly every skill possessed between my husband and myself. We literally have an organization chart of 30 positions with detailed descriptions for this one business venture.
I am totally focusing all of my efforts on Amazon FBA, and possibly other online marketplaces, for all of 2015. Will I go back to coaching and consulting? Who knows? There are people in this business who are generating 6- and 7-figure net incomes as online resellers. As we grow, we still have the potential for a location-independent business, which has always been my ultimate goal.[tweet_box]What I do know is that it’s totally OK to change course if something isn’t working for you.[/tweet_box]
Your only obligation is to you.[tweet_box]You have nothing to prove to onlookers. [/tweet_box]
The longer you try to hold an unproductive course, the longer you delay true success. That success is your ultimate happiness.
ABOUT TONI: Toni is a a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a background in business consulting and online marketing. She’s recently found her place as an online reseller andis loving every minute of it. Toni proudly boasts that she is married to an amazing man who is also her life and business partner. Together they have five children. In her spare time, she comes up with new business ideas. That’s what she considers fun.
Connect with Toni on Facebook, Twitter, and on the web at Just Wanna Have Fund$.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.