Streamlining into a Slipstream

When we do the right things in the right order it makes them well, automatic. The trouble with habits or the way we habitually do things is that we do them on auto pilot. This can be very powerful when it is thought through and we choose our habits deliberately & our tasks on purpose.

When we started in Book Arbitrage we thought consciously about the importance of being organised because so much of this business can be systematized and handed over to let technology do a lot of the work for us. Love that! So we started this business with systems in mind.

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Recently, however, we realized that we needed to streamline (reorganize the way we perform our daily tasks) our business once again as we are getting ready to scale up to the next level i.e. automatically go from a multiple 5 figure business to a six figure business.

This was powerful & necessary to do so that any bottle necks (inefficiency in us or in our systems) could be removed to support maximum growth & eliminate any drag.

What we have done up until this point was necessary to reach this destination however,  new standards of operations are required for the next part of our journey. In becoming more conscious & efficient in our daily tasks & thus making them automatic, we are setting ourselves up for success in easier ways.

When we do the right things in the right order it makes them well, automatic. The trouble with habits or the way we habitually do things is that we do them on autopilot. This can be very powerful when it is thought through and we choose our habits deliberately & our tasks on purpose.

However, if our habits are unconscious, chaotic, disorganized or sporadic then those are the kinds of results we can expect in business too. Or even if were good up until this point, we require new habits to go to new places. Makes sense, right?

“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Scaling our business means scaling up our personal systems (the way we approach this) in addition to the required daily tasks.

How we have done this is? We formed a plan. Then we took action.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein

Firstly, we looked at the way we were doing our daily tasks & made a plan to upgrade them. Without a clear plan, the way is not clear, it is a wish or a hope, but not a strategy. We had our goals when we started but we have revised them once again and are clear on our target, once again.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Then, in order to maximize our return on our effort so far and to speed our book buying we culled the lists we were working from as we had set lots of Keepa alerts when we first started that were not profitable.

So that meant going through all our Keepa alerts (we had thousands of them) & deleting ones that were not profitable & resetting others to trigger in only good or better conditions. This was not sexy work but it is effective.

Next we culled our shopping lists. The monthly shopping lists we had set up where we kept record of what books to buy for the most profit in each month. We know this by looking at Keepa charts. This again was a laborious task but one that has made us much more efficient.

In the meantime, we changed our criteria for the ways in which we search for books. In this, our parameters are completely different now & much more profitable. It takes the same time to search for mediocre profit books and very profitable books. We chose the latter.

We worked on refining our searches with our mastermind group & we now all have become more disciplined & profitable in our searches.

“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think & act on building the life you desire.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Next, knowing that a mini textbook season is coming up shortly, (May), where trade-ins are particularly profitable, using the Book Arb software, we have created our lists for trade-ins that we know can be very profitable so we are ready for that. Again, this took some time but is worth it.

Next, as I have discussed in a previous blog we changed our method for repricing and our daily objective with repricing which takes less time and is more profitable.

In participating in the Group Coaching and learning from world class coaches we have been fortunate enough to have found ourselves in their slipstream.

black and white nascar car

The definition of a Slipstream in “auto racing, it is the zone right behind a moving car. This zone has reduced air resistance and thus, allowing higher speeds…”

This has helped us to become very clear about where we are & what it takes to go to the next level.

This level of culling has inspired us to create a stop doing list as well. I have stopped answering emails & messages in the morning until I have both bought & sold (repriced) books. We are a book store, that’s what we do. This comes first every day.

Tom has been pivotal in all of these changes. We have been merciless in our approach to streamlining & streamlining once again until we have an efficient rinse & repeat operation working to maximum efficiency.

He has learned to load lists of books for sale & in our spreadsheets in one go as opposed to copy & pasting individually. This was thanks to a brilliant Book Arb community member who shared how to do this. This has saved hours of work.

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He has overhauled our spreadsheets and we only have completely essential information on them now so the back end of our operations has become super efficient as well.

Our mindset has shifted so our approach to our tasks has become upgraded & streamlined. This has caused us to experience our own slip stream in addition to being buoyed by our amazing coaches in that we experience less resistance in our motion forward.

This is something that we can & will continuously revise, however, for now we are enjoying the feeling of freedom that comes with clarity & efficient success.

In my next blog I will share my daily work flow that has resulted………

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Obstacles or Opportunities

The ability to clearly evaluate life’s many opportunities free of my mind’s negative chatter has led to me being a more powerful decision maker in every area of my life.

Why is it we sometimes say that something is too good to be true but we never say something is too bad to be true??

Funny how our unchecked minds love to throw rocks at us when we are either moving forward or even considering moving forward with an idea. Who hasn’t met with doubt and procrastination along the way when thinking of doing something new in any area of our lives?

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It makes sense because as a society we were generally conditioned to watch out for the pitfalls in life. Think about how our well intended parents warned us about not running too fast or you’d fall or not to climb the tree that was too high. From very early on we were cautioned routinely about not taking risks or going too far.

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”   ~ Buddha ~

In considering how that builds thought patterns in our minds going forward in life it isn’t hard to see why they show up as a first line of defence automatically. We can’t win in life when our default mode is one of defence.

Roll forward with these messages ingrained as the way it is in our minds and surrounding worlds and it becomes the norm for a lot of us it seems. What if we could change these patterns and instead of being guarded automatically, we could install the ability to think clearly without the interruption of an internal dominant nanny who demands total compliance (our defensive minds). Nurse Ratched anyone? (Fictional character from the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” who desires order, who wants complete power, who manipulates her patients and staff to fulfill her desires).

Einstein said, “The most important question you can ever ask is if the world is a friendly place.”  Is your mind a wonderful place to live that is filled with excitement and great expectation that things always work out for you? Or does your mind err on the side of caution and doom? Have you ever even considered if this world is for you or against you?

These questions are important for you to consider before making any decisions in your life. Do you see opportunities or obstacles in your way? By now some false premises should be ringing a few bells as a wake up call. Who is running your mind? This is a deep rabbit hole but for the purposes of this blog let’s just talk about what doubt and procrastination are and how to eliminate them.

Both of these thought structures are based in fear (FEAR – False Evidence Appearing real). That is to say they are based on something that may not actually be true and usually not something that is currently happening i.e. not in this present moment. Our minds love to tell what could happen in the future and this builds anxiety and of course it’s usually bad when based on scare tactics. This all gets played out in our minds in a soap opera style nano second and dismissed just as quickly because who wants to feel that little lot?

Doubt and procrastination are habitual thought structures that live in our minds that guard against and resist new ideas or people as dangerous. Doubt shows up as fear of something not working out so don’t even consider looking at it because why bother when it won’t work out. It hasn’t worked out before so why would it this time? Sound familiar?

Procrastination is usually based on what would others think and freezes us to the spot and distracts from taking any action to bring something new about. The message sounds something like “stay still and don’t do anything because what would they (others) think?” Psst…your mind seems like it’s protecting you but it’s stifling you because any introduction to change is met with fear and mistrust. How on earth are you supposed to create lasting change in your life when change is seen as the enemy and a threat?

These thoughts can run the show in our minds when we are not present to evaluate them. Most people in the world operate under the assumption that the thoughts in their heads are true. Remember we said we create our worlds with our minds. With these two lunatics (doubt and procrastination being only 2 of many others) running amok in our heads unchecked and not being brought in for questioning the terror state can be alive and well in our minds.

With doubt and procrastination automatically showing up in our minds to shut down opportunities before we even get a chance to evaluate them is it any wonder that easy success or relationships have not come our way? We’ve been playing defense in the game of life rather than offense.

I know your mind maybe arguing for its case that procrastination and doubt can be a good thing? If something or someone isn’t right or being truthful then certainly it is important that you listen to that feeling. We have to be able to switch off the noise in our minds to differentiate between our intuition and our fear. One easy way to distinguish between our inner nutter and our intuition. Intuition usually speaks to us through feelings. Our fear based mind communicates through thoughts.

“If you cannot control what you think about then you cannot create the future you desire.”   ~ Andy Shaw ~

Having command of our minds and not just constant chatter makes those distinctions easy to spot and easy to eliminate. When doubt and procrastination show up as thoughts remember first that they are just thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You have thoughts.

Second, I like to write these thoughts down one at a time and look at them. I usually write them on a big white board in blue and place a red line under it with an arrow on either end and ask if this thought is bringing me closer to my desires or further away ( this is a powerful technique that I learned from Andy Shaw of Creating a Bug Free Mind) and then just look at them. It can be done just as easily on a piece of paper. By seeing the thought as separate to myself this usually removes any emotional charge from it at first.

Then in evaluating their merits outside of me and by being present if it’s not true after a couple of minutes of looking at them they usually dissolve and I feel lighter. That’s when I know that the thought has been eliminated because I feel lighter. Hint: If something is true there is no loss in looking at it. If on the other hand it’s not true you have everything to gain by eliminating it.

As a big mindset person I have done this many many times over the years and it has proven magnificently powerful for me. I no longer have these thought structures in my mind.

Do not let your mind take you out and say that this technique is too simple. Give it a go and watch what happens. Imagine your life without these demons running your mind and then having the ability to examine life’s opportunities rather than running scared from invisible terrorists in your mind.

Once you are free of the stranglehold of doubt and procrastination obstacles and opportunities begin to feel like the same thing. You can meet both with ease, objectivity and appreciation. Opportunities show up as obstacles i.e. the way to figure out how to do something new rather than a sign not to do it and obstacles show up as opportunities showing you the way to do it. It’s very cool and yes it is that easy.

The ability to clearly evaluate life’s many opportunities free of my mind’s negative chatter has led to me being a more powerful decision maker in every area of my life and  and it’s why as a technophobe I have the ability to succeed with Book arbitrage as a totally online business – like on the computer!!

Read on to see how a technophobe is succeeding with only limited IT skills and why I am so excited to share this opportunity with so many others i.e. if I can do it then anyone can and become financially successful in the process. Now that’s brilliant…..

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