William Shaker is an online entrepreneur, blogger, and podcaster. He write and speak about entrepreneurship, motivation and success, he also hosted the Endless Possibilities Podcast.
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Since I launched episode number 5 on building a drop ship business and finding the wholesalers online, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about just how to pick the right products or the niche to get into. Well, todays podcast addresses two specific needs most of my audience has had since listening to that introduction podcast. As a result, I’ve thought a lot about this and think it’s best that I create a podcast centered around how to narrow down your products to sell with drop shipping and also give a few tips on how to measure the demand. Step One: Measure Market Demand Let’s be realistic, without measuring market demand, you won’t really be selling much. While these days, anything and everything on the Internet sells like hot cakes, there are probably way too many people selling the same widget you’re and only a certain number of searches are being done for that product per month. Therefore, in order to sell and become profitable, we need to measure market demand and figure out the supply and demand equation. For now, lets start off with eBay and Amazon: Ebay and Amazon Categories: eBay is a great place to get inspiration from and also check out what people are selling. They have hundreds of categories but if you look closely, the most viewed categories are at the very top which includes Fashion & Electronics as the most prominently displayed categories. Compete.com: Although a bit pricey, compete.com can provide you with a plethora of information about any web site that is on the web. You will find such information such as how they get their traffic, regardless if it is being paid or organic. You can also search by demographics which is very necessary when you want to find out who best to target. Google trends: Google trends is a great little tool you can use to find out a lot of information about a product or a thing. For example, with trends, you can measure demographics, search volume, seasonality of the product and if the product has seen an increase in searches over a period of time. Watchcount.com: Alongside eBay, watchcount.com is a great web site to find out how many watchers a particular product is getting. The best thing about this free online app is that you will be able to find out exactly what products are selling the most. From there, things get a lot easier in building a list of niches to get into. Step Two: Analyze Your Niche Selling price: The selling price is very important. For this reason, you want to pick a product that is somewhere around $100-200 in price. While I have sold sunglasses in the past that were a lot less expensive, my profit margins were astronomical. The only place you will find a lot of profit on inexpensive items is in the fashion and accessories niches which we will talk about later. However, to be on the same side since you’re just starting out, it’s best you stay around $100-200 so there is a lot of room for profit. Also, the less expensive the item, the less calls you will get but the more expensive an item is, the more customer service calls and inquiries you will have. Market Size: if your market is big, then great. However, if your market size is small, you may have a problem getting visitors to convert as there is a lot of competition and higher PPC fees.  Market Age:  Is your  product geared towards seniors or kids under 18? I bring up these two inverse situations because although most people are web savvy, there are seniors out there that still lack great experience shopping online or let alone trust anyone with their credit cards. As for kids younger than 18, they might not have a credit card. Product rarity: Is your niche something that is easily available in local malls or department stores? If so, it may be hard to sell online because who wants to pay shipping and wait for an order to arrive when they can buy it at the local store? Product Obsolescence: Ideally, you want to sell a product that won’t go out of fashion or become obsolete. As an example, if you sold an iPhone case and a newly designed iPhone replaces the old one, the case will become obsolete in a short period of time. Ideally, you want to get into a niche where  you can build a web site with products that are here to stay and then build a lot of great wonderful content around. Product Seasonality: I love sessional products because when the time is ripe, the customers just want a whole lot of it. For example, I sold sunglasses for a long time and during the months of Feb-Aug, that’s when I was rock-n-rolling. However, not everyone is comfortable with that. Product Size & Weight: Ideally, you want to pick a product that doesn’t cost a lot of money to ship. One of two things will happen – either you will over inflate your prices to make up the loss in shipping or you will charge a lot for shipping which will then turn off most customers. This is one of the biggest reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Profit: This is the reason why you’re in business in the first place. In an ideal world, you want to shoot for 75-100% profit for your products. This can easily be done with selling accessories and fashion products. However, most products are not this way. Therefore, you want to pick a niche that you can make at least 20-30% profit. With this much profit, you will at least have wiggle room to advertise if you needed to and still make some money. Is this Your Passion? – this will get you in trouble – why? Following your passion is great but it also makes you ignore everything I just talked to you about. If you’re passionate about candles and you have a dozen of them laying around your home and want to start selling them online, you can and thats great but have you done your due diligence about everything we’ve talked about? When I started selling sunglasses back in 2001, I became passionate about sunglasses when it started making money for me, not the other way around. I have my niche and my products picked out – now what? Woo-hoo, you made it! Congratulations, this is the toughest part! My advice for you now is to go find the manufacturers. Sure, there is a list of drop ship companies out there but most of them are a waste of time and I wouldn’t bother. A lot of them are middle men to begin with anyway. Settle with calling the manufacturers directly and ask them if they drop ship. You may refer to podcast episode #5 where I talk about this in more detail. Good Markets To Get Into: Cosmetics Greeting cards Mattresses and furniture Clothing Jewelry (diamonds, watches, etc) Sunglasses or eyeglasses 5-Star Reviews This week on iTunes Nicholas Graham Jessie Rav3ns Fan Ewaldsreef Did You Enjoy This Podcast? Never miss an episode by subscribing, using one of the options below and If you can spare 30-seconds to leave a review, rate and subscribe on iTunes, it would really help the show’s ranking. Thank you, in advance!
In the last part of 2013, I attended Unleash The Power Within and learned a great deal. While there, I signed up for Date With Destiny as well — needless to say, you should have seen the smile on my face! After, I felt a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. When I got back home after having attended all 4-days and reflected on my life, I released episode number 31, “9 Cardinal Rules For Life” and in it, I shared my experience but I also mentioned that on a future episode I will be discussing what I have learned. Well, It’s been a few weeks now and I’ve been away for some time. First I went to Date With Destiny in California, then came back and had to deal with Bronchitis for a week and a half. Once I recovered, it was tackling on the holidays which included Christmas and then, New Years. The days, months and weeks have gone by VERY quickly and now we’re in 2014 – the start of the new year, new beginnings and new goals. I’m really excited for my life and for yours this year. I’ve made some lofty goals for myself with one of them being that I will be getting back into eCommerce. This year, aside from making a lot of money, I am really excited about what this money will do for my family and everyone around me. As you will learn from listening to this podcast, my mission in life is that “I will put on this earth to be successful in life, love and business so that I can contribute to those around me.” I’ve always realized that contribution is important and since the beginning of last year, I’ve made it so with my podcast and this web site. As a result, I get thank you emails almost every day and to date, my podcast is being listened to in 124 countries worldwide! However, I’ve gotten wiser and more intelligent since last year and I’m learning that a balanced life is just as important as contribution. Therefore, I have made a few changes to the format of this podcast that will allow me to grow and help you grow at the same time. More on the podcast so please listen to it if you haven’t already. Here is a summery of what I will be covering in “4 Steps To Creating An Extraordinary Life Of Fulfillment.” Step 1: Making money is easy, fulfillment is hard Statistics based on New Years resolutions: The difference between goal setters and visionaries is that goal setters usually forget their goals very quickly. Can I give you my opinion? Here is what I think — amateurs call it “new years resolutions”, veterans call it “goals” and successful people call it “a vision” and a vision is something that is far more powerful than a to-do list most people call goals. I’ll explain further in a little bit but now lets look at what most peoples “new years resolutions” are Lost weight, get organized, sped less, save more, enjoy life to the fullest, lear something new, stay fit and healthy, help others, quit smoking, more daily time or find the love of your life — these are the top 10. Now, did you know that only 45% of Americans make New Years resolutions? of the 45% who do, only 64% of that keep it till the end of the month and only 46% maintain till the 6th month. Success without fulfillment is failure. Create a compelling vision for the future. How would my life be (dream it, using incantations) How can I help those around me? When you become wealthy, others will become wealthy as a result of being around you. Oftentimes, wealth is a result. Wealth is not just money but all of the abundance you can share with your family as well. “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall unveil.” – James Allen Step 2: Managing Your State Tony Robbins says that time is emotion. When you’re having a good time, time flies and when you’re not, one hour can feel like five. Your state is what you feel in the moment. A good life constitutes good emotions The key to success is managing how you feel in the moment. Be certain, have clarity and the courage that success is inevitable and that it is not a matter of if but a matter of when. Reading affirmations does nothing and it is a complete waste of time. Incantations once or twice a day is really effective compared to people who write goals and read them silently, sitting down with their head down and their chest compressed. Strategies for managing your state: stretching, breathing, a long walk, jumping up and down, visualizing and gratitude just to name a few. Step 3:  Crush your limiting beliefs Limiting beliefs are like governors on super car. The super car’s speedometer can read 225 MPH but the car will max out at 190 MPH. Once you remove the limiter or governor, the car is the capability to reach its full maximum speed of 225 MPH with enough road/tarmac. You must be unreasonable — every extraordinary person who exists today is unreasonable. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” -George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable people don’t have limiting beliefs – they defy odds, they go against what most think is not possible. The moment one commits, providence moves too. Your capability may be 225 MPH but if your governor is limited to only 30 MPH, you will always live life in the slow lane and don’t you dare go into the highway that slow because everyone will be honking at you from behind and giving you the middle finger. People in the fast lane eat well, live well, have money saved up, don’t live in poverty or constantly worry about the future. People in the fast lane who don’t have any limiting beliefs are successful because they know that it’s not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN they will realize their vision for the future. Downward cycle: You believe you have limited potential so you take a little bit of action, get limited results and reinforce your belief. “See! I knew I couldn’t do it!” Upward cycle: You believe beyond the shadow of the doubt that you can get the result you want. You may not know how but you believe the potential is there, so you tape into it with massive action and potential. You tend to get pretty outstanding results, reinforcing your belief. “See! I knew I could do it!” Now you’re even more inspired, you believe even more in your potential, you take even more action and you get even greater results! The cycle continues. Step 4: Create a strategy for success Become focused and crystal clear about what your vision and your purpose in life should be about. Create rules about what you love, what excites you, what you’re committed to and what you hate or won’t tolerate. Take a notebook and write down EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you want to do in life. The types of things could be traveling, buying a home, finding the love of your life or even as far as moving to another country – regardless of what it is, just keep writing. Once you finish writing, next to each item, put a 1, 3 and 5. Each number stands for how long you feel these goals would take to achieve. Follow your goals by taking “massive” action! Episode #4 is about goal setting in case you need direction and the “how-to” Visualize with incantations. Reviews This Week Mjayaz: Thank you for your information. It is delivered in understandable terms. Learning about your personal trials and experiences should give everyone hope that they can achieve anything they desire. THANK YOU Did You Enjoy This Podcast? Never miss an episode by subscribing, using one of the options below and If you can spare 30-seconds to leave a review, rate and subscribe on iTunes, it would really help the show’s ranking. Thank you, in advance!
The idea behind coming up with the 8 cardinal rules for life came from an info graphic I found and posted on my Facebook fan page wall. Till this day, the info graphic had over 109 shares and 54 likes likes which blew my mind! In coming up with today’s podcast, I thought that I can expand on the quote and talk about it through my own lens with a few compelling examples and reasons why these rules do make sense and should be applied. However, the original info graphic was only 7 cardinal rules but the last two rules are my own because I learned something very important while attending the Tony Robbins seminar a few weeks ago and it is worth talking about. I hope you like the “9 Cardinal Rules For Life” podcast. I would love your feedback below! 1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present. I can resonate with this one myself — I often talk about the past in my podcasts but it’s time to let all of that go. Emotional baggage is real — fill your closet full of old cloth and you won’t have room for new cloth. Our hearts are our closets and the emotions are the cloth we put into them. For a lot of us, our hearts are full of negative emotions and baggage that we carry everywhere. This is why we’re not as happy or as successful as we want to become. Emotional blocks can be found in all areas of our lives – relationships, careers, family and everything in between. Don’t cling to negative feelings — anger is nothing more than an outward sign of hurt, fear, guilt or frustration. Making peace with your past is never easy or simple but it is possible but only if you’re intentional about removing baggage from your heart that no longer belongs there. 2. What other people think of you is none of your business. How people perceive you reveals more about them than it does about you. Everyone grows up through a different lens and perspective of how life is and how it should be. People will judge you, talk about you and project their stuff on you. It is what it is. Seeking validation is one way for others to judge you because a confident, self-assured person doesn’t need validation. Sometimes we invite others to judge us based on how we act around them because there is an old saying “tell me who you spend your time with and I’ll tell you who you’re” While most of the time, like I said before — everyone lives life through their own unique lens. Regardless, “This too shall pass.” 3. Time heals almost everything. Give it time. There is a great quote by Regina Brett — regina says “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” — This is why I believe that it’s very important to feel grateful —  you have problems because you’re living life. I feel sorry for the man or woman who doesn’t have problems. We need to make peace with the present so that it won’t screw up the past. It takes time to heal It takes time to recover It takes time to reconnect and recharge Give yourself time and don’t beat yourself up — its all a process. I’ve been through it many times and every struggle I had in life was for a reason. What’s that old saying? “f it doesn’t kills you, it will make you stronger?” 4. No one is in charge of your happiness. Except you. This one is huge — it really is. Trust me! No person or material possession will ever make us happy. Your partner in life is not responsible for your happiness or for your boredom. I believe that success in all walks of all comes from the inside out — if this statement is true, then how come we always blame others for our downfalls and unhappiness? I guess it is a lot easier to blame and point fingers but a lot harder to sit quietly and point the finger at our own selves. I always say that business is simple but people are complicated. Now, I may also add that life is simple but we’re complicated. We really are — humans have evolved a whole lot but we have not reached our full human potential. The next time you’re around animals or if you have a dog – notice how he shakes himself off after a conflict or a situation that is tense — animals are the only creatures that shake off negativity. Humans on the other hand carry negative emotions and the thoughts in our mind the entire day and sometimes for our entire lives. Is it necessary? In some way, our dogs are more superior than we’re. I guess I am trying to make the point that no one is in charge of our happiness, except for our own selves. 5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about. Once again, everyone views life through a different lens. No one grew up the exact same way as you did. In fact, I will go so far as saying that we’re all born unique, our brains are wired completely different from one another and everyone has a unique personality with separate likes, dislikes and life ambitions. So knowing this – how can you compare your life to someone else or judge yourself against them? Some people are passive spectators of life, while others are active and fully in charge of their destiny. Instead of comparing yourself to others – look really inward and self reflect on why you’re where you’re right now — is it because of neglect or because of things completely out of your control? The man who we call a bum on the street has a story – he has a soul just like you do and a story just like you do as well. You have no idea how he got there or what his circumstances were prior to that event. He may be begging for food but his journey is something you will never know about. 6. Stop thinking too much, It’s alright not to know the answers; they will come to you when you least expect it. I get most of my answers when I plan for the answers to come to me. I actually make time to gain clarity. Every week, I plan my week. Once a month I think about the prior month and every quarter, I think about the last quarter that just ended. From time-to-time, I sit to think with a set of questions I already know I will ask myself. When I am done, this provides me with all the clarity I need. All of the sudden, I feel better and I stop thinking too much. 7. Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world. You really don’t — every day you’re awake, that is another chance to be happy and smile out of bed. Seriously — what is there not to like about sleeping at night and waking up every morning for another chance at greatness? One great way to sleep happy and wake up happy is to read something positive 1 hour before bed and then sleep right away. To start the morning off right — read something positive again and then start your day. You don’t have to constantly smile all day – that would be weird but you’re alive and you have your health – isn’t that enough reason to smile and be happy? You don’t own all the problems in the world — control what you can in your own life and leave everything else deal with itself. 8. A good life constitutes good emotions. After reviewing all of my notes from the Tony Robbins seminar, I remembered him talking about emotions and how our quality of life determines what kind of emotions we’re having. As an example — when you buy a Porsche, the Porsche is not what you’re buying – instead, you’re buying the Porsche because of the emotions it gives you. Coincidentally — I actually had a Porsche – it was a 2007 GT3 – for those familiar – it was 415 horse power, rear wheel drive with an 8500 RPM deadline — boy did that thing scream! I often took it to the racetrack and to this day, I miss it very much. When my business fell apart many years ago, I had to sell it but I miss the emotions I felt when driving that car. While a car is one thing that brings good emotions — other things that bring good emotions in our life are progress, contribution and growth — at least this does for me. When I am seeing progress in my business, not only do I become excited but the excitement leads to feeling fulfilled. The feelings of fulfillment allows me to contribute because inside, I feel fuller and when I feel fuller, I can give more. Why do we go to amusement parks? To feel good emotions. When we come back home – its back to where we were once again — feeling dreary and bored. However, in order to keep up the good emotions, I am constantly seeking progress in my life, contributing to society and growing as much as I can. These are long-term solutions — short term solutions are expensive cars, toys and vacations. Those don’t last too long. 9. Never neglect yourself for others. I know I mentioned contribution in #8 but in explaining this one, I don’t want to seem like I am contradicting myself. As  you may, I mentioned that when I give myself enough, I become filled up and then I contribute which makes me feel even better and happier, therefore, smiling becomes easier and more natural –you can’t fake a smile, no matter how hard. As you may know — I was sick all last week — I couldn’t give anymore because it was time for me to heal and repair. Last week was all mine and I wanted to make sure I was health – this is the reason why I missed last weeks episode. In trying to help others, we often neglect our own selves and this is never a good solution — the better solution is win-win and not lose-win as Stephen Covey said in his book “the 7 habits of highly successful people” In the last 6 months, I’ve gone really overboard with podcasts — don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret doing these, in fact, because I missed last week, I really missed doing it and couldn’t wait to get behind the mic again. I guess the point I am trying to make is, make sure the cup is full before you let others drink out of it and never let others drink the whole cup. Once it is depleted, unlike water, emotional and physical energy does not come as easily as water does from a faucet. Did You Enjoy This Podcast? Never miss an episode by subscribing, using one of the options below and If you can spare 30-seconds to leave a review, rate and subscribe on iTunes, it would really help the show’s ranking. Thank you, in advance!
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18 hours, 41 minutes