Money, Money, Money

So what is money anyway? Is it physical? Is it as new age people describe it – energy? Why is so much of our time spent earning it, chasing it, thinking about it & spending it?

I think money may perhaps be one of the most misunderstood areas of our lives and yet one of the areas that affects our lives the most on a daily basis.

I certainly have spent the majority of my adult life trying to figure what it is & how to create it easily.

I have studied many areas of money in my earnest attempt to understand this thing that so profoundly affects my life in every way.

So here is what I have learned and what is changing my relationship with money, my business, my life. I say changing because it is still unfolding.

When we are creating money, we are not creating a physical object out of mid air. That is how I used to approach it, like trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat! Perhaps you can relate.

Money ceased to be a physical object a long time ago. I know we sometimes still have physical dollars & euros in our pockets but stick with me. For the most part we deal with money either online (we don’t actually see it) or with plastic cards.

Dollar bills, debit/credit cards, digits in our bank accounts just represent money.

blue master card on denim pocket

It may help to think about it this way. When we get paid into our bank accounts, it’s not physical money that is put into our accounts. It’s the movement of digits that represent the movement of money in our account. When I pay the electricity bill, physical money does not move from my account into the electricity account, digits move around.

If you were to think about money in the same way as you think about downloading a song from the internet you are closer to the reality of how money works in today’s world.

For example, when you download a song, you are not depleting that song. There is not half a song left online because you downloaded it. As many people as would like to can download that song simultaneously and it will still be fully available to the next user.

We accept music that way. We are not trying to physically manifest a trumpet section into our living room. Music is something that we can download all day every day and never run out of “credit.”

It’s constantly available and at our fingertips. Every day for the rest of our lives, more songs are created and downloaded in our world and enjoyed. There is no angst around that. Available without much thought or effort.

black smartphone and headphones on a desk

My listening to a song in Ireland will not make it less available to someone listening to it in the US. I don’t think “I must only listen to it for a short while because I am using it up” or that someone else cannot access it because I am using/accessing it. We accept it as infinitely available.

Let’s turn our attention to money for a moment. Let’s say you download/withdraw $100 from your account and you paid $100 for a massage. You give $100 to the masseuse. The masseuse then buys groceries with that $100 and gives it to the store owner. The store owner goes for a haircut & pays $100 to the hairdresser, who goes to the movie and on and on.

If that $100 gets exchanged once a day (which is a very low number of times) for 30 days. That $100 would still be fully intact on day 30 and has provided $3,000 worth of value.

To return to the music download analogy, as many people as would like can listen to the song as many times as they like and the song is still fully downloadable.

If when you spend money you think about it from this vantage point, you would feel no stress or concern.

On the other hand if when you withdraw/download money from your account and you think of it as being depleted, then you keep recreating this outdated experience in your life.

Approaching money in this physical way means you are working off an old system that no longer exists. Your outdated GPS is set on San Francisco even though you now live in New York. Make sense?

Do not be hard on yourself, we were hardwired to think about money this way before because that is what money was – physical e.g. gold/silver/physical notes. That is no longer the case and it hasn’t been for a very long time.

We switched over many years ago to a whole new system of money/wealth/abundance.

Music used to be physical too on gramophones, then vinyl, then CD’s, now it’s downloadable instantly. It is experienced but not seen physically and still we listen to it anytime, anywhere, any day on our devices.

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Think about how really wealthy people experience money. They have instant constant access to as much money as they like anytime, anywhere. What if you can download money in the same way any number of times any time of the day as you do music? Do you think that could change your experience of it?

If you say that’s OK for wealthy people they have money. But, if you begin approaching money with the same ease, you will experience the same ease and create that experience for yourself.

Music is no more physical than money and yet both are instantly infinitely available.

It may take a little consideration for this to land or perhaps you’ve known it all along.

Thinking about money this way has changed my relationship with it and my experience with money is changing as a result.

I realise this post is a departure from the usual blog on Book Arb. But this change in my thinking has changed my approach to Book Arb. The results that are unfolding are indeed exciting as our business is growing and accelerating.

Next time, I will discuss how we’re getting ready for the upcoming bumper summer textbook season. It’s gonna be fun……

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The Benefits of Challenges

What if instead of balking at challenges and being guarded about them we welcomed them as the next building block for success? Would that change our perspective and our response?

Most people see challenges as something that is happening that should not be happening i.e. this isn’t fair, this shouldn’t be happening to me.

However, when you look back on your life, it will likely be that you did not go through unscathed and unerringly and that is a good thing. Life isn’t static and neither are we.

silhouette photography of boat on water during sunset

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” ~ African Proverb

How could you ever learn to run faster as a child if did not you fall down or start off slow?

Yet, as adults we tend to veer away from life’s challenges as something unwanted. We seek to avoid them or desire someone else to sort it out for us. As children we just naturally problem solved i.e. got back up again.

As adults we tend to wrap a story around why we fell and whose fault it was, lol!

In our Book Arb business we have made tons of mistakes and that is how we have learned. Each time we have encountered a new challenge, we have had to learn to flex a new muscle and to eliminate the challenge and thereby become stronger.

That is why our business continues to grow because we continue to grow. It’s not an absence of challenges that brings this about but the very presence of them.

It’s called natural evolution. How could we become super successful unless we passed through the successful phase?

A life without challenge is like an ocean without a tide. It doesn’t exist. Nor do we really want it to.

scenic view of beach

What if instead of balking at challenges and being guarded about them we welcomed them as the next building block for success? Would that change our perspective and our response?

What if we celebrate the challenge as a fantastic way to grow ourselves and our business, answered prayers as it were, do you think the solutions would come easier and the whole journey would be made more fun?

“An obstacle is often a stepping stone.” ~ William Prescott

So if challenges are a good thing. Then surely the opportunity to find fun ways to interact with them is a good thing. We move forward and gain another victory – a good thing.

By eliminating them not as something unwanted but as making room for the next stepping stone our forward motion and success is assured.

When we bought books that were not that profitable, we learned to read the Keepa charts more accurately and to buy books that were more profitable. When we repriced in an unproductive way, we learned to reprice much more effectively. When we had gated books we found a solution for that. You get the point.

We have become more skilled at making money in our Book Arb business because we met challenges, not because we didn’t.

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That is why we are becoming so successful now. Plus, our road and learning curve to success has been made all the more pleasant and short by travelling this road with other book arbers who are also meeting and eliminating challenges in their businesses.

“Success is a continuing thing. It is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else.” ~ John C. Maxwell

Next, I will discuss how creating financing for our business has changed my approach to life and the success we are experiencing…..

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Learning From The Best

Why struggle to figure out how to get there when someone has already walked the path you are now walking and they can help guide you along the way.

“If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” – Richard Branson

Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates & Richard Branson have all talked about the benefits of learning from mentors.

No matter what stage your business is at, a start up, established and/or expanding, learning from someone who has done it before just makes sense.

It amazes me still how some people view asking for help as a sign of weakness instead of the smartest thing to do.

Why struggle to figure out how to get there when someone has already walked the path you are now walking?

The biggest investment you ought to make by far in any business is in yourself. No business plan or any amount of money can overcome a confused mind.

Think about it. You can have a co pilot in the plane with you who is vastly more experienced who can show you how to fly a plane or you can jump into the pilots seat by yourself and either crash & burn or take a lot longer to land safely at your destination. Your choice.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell

In our Book Arb community we have both coaches and mentors who are showing us the way in specific detail. Because they are in our industry and not just general business mentors they are keenly aware of the specific challenges we meet.

Their attitude to the person is “‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’” — Jim Rohn

In addition to all the other supports in our community this kind of mentoring delivers awesome reinforcement. Their intention as I continuously experience it is not just to empower us to make book arbitrage a successful business. They are actively developing entrepreneurs which goes far beyond this current business model.

Their vision is much more expanded than book arbitrage alone and it is a privilege to be a part of such conscious empowerment. Jon & Luke are changing lives forever.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~ Jonathon Swift

They are changing the way we see ourselves and providing the practical steps to achieve our goals. It really is incredible.

If you are in the Book Arb community, in addition to buying books to grow your business, be sure to invest in yourself so that your business and you expand side by side.

That is the formula for success i.e. constant expansion and in our community success is the culture. How can we fail?

Next week, I will discuss the importance of challenges in your business and why they are a positive.

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Maintaining Focus

I would ask you to reflect on where you lose your focus in your business. You will find it shows up in the same ways over and over until you address it.

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~ Mark Twain

Since no one can think for you or live your life the importance of maintaining your focus on your own horizon is essential.

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Sometimes people around us are afraid we’ll fail and sometimes they’re afraid we’ll succeed. Either way their dominant focus is based on fear and if you allow that into your world, their focus on fear can influence you too.

For the most part we are surrounded by well meaning people. However, even when they share your goals & dreams their fears can distract you if you allow it and if you are not in charge of your own mind.

With our Book Arb community we are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many powerful leaders who are succeeding & their collective success is a persuasive example for individual success.

Since however, we are each responsible for our own journey, and there are many ways to continuously achieve that, it is possible to become distracted by other’s experiences.

It is vital to help others through your own achievement of success and not at the expense of it. It is easy to get caught up in helping others, especially when you live to serve, but it is vital to remember that you are in charge of your time and the ways in which you spend it. Period.

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In the last blog I shared my work flow. In it you can see how important it is to prioritize achieving daily goals in order to achieve overall goals. Then you are in a position to help others. It’s about saying ‘Yes’ to the right things & equally important to say ‘No’ to other things i.e. demands by others.

This balancing act of growing my business & loving helping others is something of an ongoing challenge for me. I love love love to share what I am learning and what is working for me. It is the coach in me.

However, this is where my diluted focus can show up when this is out of harmony.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself. The other for helping others.” ~ Maya Angelou

Helping myself is as important as helping others. That’s where my learning is.

By focusing on enjoying my own journey and helping others as I go, this allows me to experience my definition of success. Maintaining my balance in this is what brings fulfilment.

Do you lose focus when you don’t know what to do next and therefore procrastinate? Or does it happen because of other’s demands on your time be they family obligations or children? Is it because you have a very active social life?

“Focus on remedies, not faults.” ~ Jack Nicklaus

There is power in identifying where you leak focus because it will be habitual i.e. automatic. You can only change it when you see it.

What one thing could you change today that will help you maintain your focus in a clear way?

Once you are clear on the change you require, consciously create a new habit to combat it. For me, for instance in not answering emails or social media in the mornings, I achieve my goals first. Then I am in a position to help others.

Next, I will discuss the fundamental tasks of this Book Arb business and how best to apply them.

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Compounding Money

If you think of a business expanding 8 fold in 7 months in its first year of business it’s pretty unbelievable and it is growing because we are rolling all our profits back in. The bigger the inventory the greater the speed of expansion and the more powerful effect of compounding.

“The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.”   ~ C.S. Lewis

At the time of my writing this blog we are over half way through our current peak season for textbooks. As I have stated before, textbooks sell all year round it’s just that there are 2 big bumper seasons (January & August) and one mini one (May) as well. It’s like Christmas comes three times a year in terms of a sales boost which is pretty awesome.2018 08 30th Sales Screenshot

 

As you can see creating over $2,000 a week is a substantial boost in profits and that figure will only continue to rise.

For our first textbook season we had an inventory of 54 books and sold 22, so nearly half our inventory. Roll on 7 months later and we have an inventory of 400 books which is almost 8 times the number of books we had in January and we are making weekly sales of $2,000 and more. Remember too that we have been selling books nearly every day in between.

If you think of a business expanding 8 fold in 7 months in its first year of business it’s pretty unbelievable and it is growing because we are rolling all our profits back in. The bigger the inventory the greater the speed of expansion and the more powerful effect of compounding.

If we were to open any well known franchise for any other kind of business we would never have been able to begin with just $1,000 and create this level of success (one of our community members started with $100 in the pot and has grown that into a multiple 5 figure business in 18 months or less). Not to mention we don’t have to deal with the hassles that come with running that kind of operation (franchise) with employees, insurance etc.

So, we are growing our own business that we can do from anywhere in the world. Our business is growing in a predictable and powerful way. We are continuously honing our  skills for working smarter and not harder. We are becoming wealthier.

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Our money works for us all day every day. The boost we get from sales in textbook season further accelerates our book buying power and therefore book profits so by the next peak season we will be hitting even juicier numbers. What’s not to love?

Next, I will share the value of great customer service and how that adds to our bottom line personally and professionally.

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