Applying 1% Improvements

I talked a couple of weeks ago about making a 1% improvement in our businesses. Well – did you do it?

If someone asked us if we could manage a 1% improvement in our work out routine in the gym, I’m pretty sure most of us would say yes, I can do that. That might mean 1 extra sit up, one more minute on the treadmill or instead of lifting a weight 10 times, lifting it 11 times.

What if someone told you that by just doing this you could ensure phenomenal health & vitality for the rest of your life? Would you consider it & do you think it would be worth it?

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It’s not saying run a marathon today, that would be hard but by just doing 1 extra repetition on something we’re already doing can make a big difference & it’s only 1% extra today. How hard is that?

“Leap off the fence of indecision. Get out of the ‘Want to Lane’ and put yourself into the ‘Got to Lane.’” ~ Gloria Mayfield Banks

I recently applied this 1% principle to my own health & the results are pretty amazing already when I consider where I started from 8 weeks ago. I tasked myself with cycling just 1 minute a day on my exercise bike. If I got on my bike for 1 minute & cycled I gave myself a tick on a chart – that’s all I had to do.

“What gets measured gets improved.” ~ Robin Sharma

I’m now up to 25 minutes a day. Had I started off with 25 minutes I could not have sustained it but now I can easily. More importantly though my habit of getting on my bike & exercising every day is locked in. Over time this one strategy will contribute to my overall health & wellness.

I really thought about my health & the strategies needed for success & then got on with applying it. As life does, it shows up to support us when we take that step.

Unexpectedly 2 world class health experts have come into my life & are working with me. I didn’t know that would happen but I just made the decision I was going to be well & every day that is coming about.

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We have applied this same principle to our Book Arb business & our progress & results are rockin’. Our system & automation has increased way more than 1% & we are achieving it in an easy way by expanding on what we have done already. No rocket science or big effort required.

So today, I encourage you to think about how you can apply this very simple 1% technique for even 1 part of your business, track it & watch what happens.

Click Here To Start Making MoneyBook a call with me today where I explain everything

Smart Enough To Be Dumb

It’s not the things in life that we don’t know that thwarts our success most in my opinion. It’s when we think we know more than we do that trips us up.

Luckily for me I don’t have to try hard to be the dumbest one in any room.

That is not meant as a disparagement of me in anyway. I like it because it means I always remain open & I don’t assume I know more than I do.

“If you stay ready, then you don’t have to get ready.” ~ Will Smith

I am always ready to learn, to grow, to hear new points of view & to consider & absorb something new that hasn’t occurred to me.

“Progress is impossible without change & those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ~Unknown

This idea has stood me well in life & because of it I have found myself in some pretty interesting rooms.

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It’s not the things in life that we don’t know that thwarts our success most in my opinion. It’s when we think we know more than we do that trips us up.

This can mean that we are blind to our weaknesses, ignore warning signs of imminent change in a marketplace or can become complacent & slow our progress.

Think about it. When we’re reaching for new success we’re committed, hungry & inspired.

If we are no longer striving in some way then our ‘edge’ may be missing. This results not only in a slowing down of professional & financial success but much more importantly personal success!

In our Book Arbitrage Community I am fortunate to share time with some of the smartest people in the industry – Jon & Luke & the other mentors.

I remember reading an article written about Henry Ford when he was on the witness stand & the lawyer was trying to undermine his intelligence.

I thought his answer was genius.

“If I should really WANT to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer ANY question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, WHY I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?” ~ Henry Ford

Boom! That’s how I see myself. Not as Henry Ford but I am surrounded by a mastermind group who are excelling in my chosen field.

I learn from Tom. I learn from every other mentor.  I learn from my accountability group in Book Arbitrage.

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I always learn something new when I go into our Community Mastermind Facebook group. I learn from every live session. I learn from every interaction with people I mentor.

I don’t call the people I mentor students. They are entrepreneurs. We are not working together to learn to be a professional student. We are working together to co create & foster entrepreneurial excellence in book arbitrage.

Not only that but our entire community is a Mastermind group for me because I learn from everyone without exception.

So you see. I don’t have to have all the answers. Phew! I am surrounded by them.

We are truly fortunate to have so many outliers, success stories & leaders of the industry in our community.

It’s our way of life. Like anything, it is important to apply what we learn & to contribute to our community in order to really thrive.

That is the Mastermind principle in action. When you give you receive.

So ask yourself how you contribute to our ever growing success Mastermind group already & consider how you can give more & wait til you see what happens…

It will blow your socks off which is the kind of success I love lol!

Next, I will discuss the power of accountability in our success….

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My Friend, Mistakes

Ask yourself is there a benefit to embracing mistakes instead of recoiling from them? It’s the same circumstance you’re facing but which approach will bring results faster?

“Don’t waste a good mistake…learn from it.” Robert Kiyosaki

If mistakes are the way to success then why are we so afraid of them?

When you think about it though it kind of makes sense that we recoil from them because as children we may have felt scolded or criticized for getting an answer wrong in the classroom or dismissed by an impatient parent or sibling.

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Erroneous conclusion reached; mistakes = feeling bad and/or not good enough.

Because these experiences were often painful but subtle & repeated over time is it any wonder we learned to avoid this feeling of being wrong so vehemently?

I think not. Who wants to feel that?

But what if society got it wrong? What if it’s true that making mistakes ensures that we are making progress. How could we possibly make progress by standing still & only repeating what we have done so far? That does not make sense to me.

Ask yourself “How can I get something completely right when I haven’t done it before?” Now that is impossible.

In Book Arb we have made tons of mistakes. We have bought some bad books. But how would we know a good book if we hadn’t bought a bad one?

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We have bought good books at the wrong time i.e. we didn’t understand the timing of the market & now we do. We have repriced ineffectively & thereby slowed our success overall.

We have done things in the wrong order thereby causing inconsistency in our daily performance. For example, logging our books from the day before first thing in the morning, instead of buying more books to grow our business first & then doing the less essential administration work.

Again, if we didn’t learn to improve our daily practices, to learn from our mistakes, then how would we grow & improve?

Ask yourself is there a benefit to embracing mistakes instead of recoiling from them? It’s the same circumstance you’re facing but which approach will bring results faster? “Mistakes are bad, I’m bad at this or Mistakes are good, I’m really good at this.”

Since mistakes are a necessary part of the journey then making friends with them seems like a really good idea to me.

For one thing, they are going to keep showing up. For another it’s a signpost that we’re progressing. For another it is the road to success. So it’s all good news.

“Your best teacher is your last mistake.” ~ Unknown

How about that as an empowering idea to cause us to consider where we are & what we can do better to improve our performance.

With a different mindset i.e. mistakes are good it means not only are they not bad, but they can be the rocket fuel required to grow when we learn the lesson from it.

We went to the trouble of making the mistake, we might as well go to the trouble of benefiting from it.

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If we learn from our mistakes then we don’t need to keep checking up on them. Once we’ve made the mistake & corrected it we do not need to repeat it.

This shift in thinking means that I do not suffer mistakes at all. I just keep progressing sure in the knowledge that I am succeeding as they are my friends who show me I’m making progress.

Next, I will share how to let go of the bad books in an easy way….

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The Book Biz

There are many beautiful nuances to master and opportunities to grow this business that makes it fun to be where we are & to grow as we choose.

“Remember, it is not about luck. It is about doing the right things the right way.” ~ Jack Canfield

We’re a bookstore. The most fundamental thing we do is buy books and sell books. Period.

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Obvious right? Well you would think so. And yet, if we allow it our days can be filled with doing things that just don’t matter that much e.g. answering emails & messages. This is especially prevalent in today’s instant social media culture.

Doing what is essential first to move the needle in our business i.e. the act of buying books (if you don’t have a daily budget yet, you can set Keepa alerts) and selling (daily repricing) is key.

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” ~ Jim Rohn

We begin our days with this every day. Once this is done, then we have time to answer emails and return messages etc.

With this wonderful Book Arb business so many of our tasks can be automated i.e. Keepa alerts, trade-in alerts, refunds, follow up emails to customers to emails, feedback requests. These are one time set & forget tasks that take care of so many daily duties.

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We have discussed the power of automation & systematisation in previous blogs but it is important to remember that compounding success means doing the basics really well i.e. showing up every day to buy & sell books.

In time we will be able to outsource these tasks too but for now we are happy building our 6 & 7 figure business and really getting to understand the art & the science of this business.

There are many beautiful nuances to master & opportunities to grow this business that makes it fun to be where we are & to grow as we choose.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness & growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ~ Andy Rooney

Where’s the most fun when cycling your bicycle? Is it in being at the bottom of the hill or is it when you are freewheeling on your way down the hill? It’s the same in business & life.

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The most fun is in the living of it & because the Book Arb business is so easy & predictable (when compared with any other business I’ve done) there is no guess work, just progress.

That just leaves doing the tasks that are necessary every day (buy & sell books) to grow our business. Easy.

Next, I will discuss the gift of Local Sourcing in this lucrative business.

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Work Flow

Lining our ducks up in a row with our daily habits simply means more progress daily, weekly, monthly & yearly. That’s how we like things – simple, easy & effective.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in & day out.” ~ Robert Collier

Our daily work flow looks like this:

Buy & Sell

  1. Tom checks previous days sales, buy more if they are still hot.
  2. I check Keepa alerts in my email for profitable books.
  3. I check our hot list of year round sellers.
  4. I check this months shopping list for buying opportunities.
  5. I fire up Book Arb software for more opportunities if I have not spent our daily budget already.
  6. Tom reprices (Sells our books).
  7. Tom lists our books & takes care of admin e.g. returns.
  8. I go to give on Facebook to contribute to others & to help elevate success of our community.
  9. I attend live webinars every Tuesday & Thursdays afternoons.
  10. Wednesday mornings I write my blog.
  11. Thursday mornings I look at ways to expand our business e.g. sell on other platforms, learn new ways to accelerate our efficiency e.g. research faster processes for systemising etc.

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Every second Monday night we attend our mastermind group to brainstorm ways to support & accelerate our businesses. Accountability is a powerful strategy in our group and this ensures our ongoing individual & collective success.

Repeating these daily habits over and over ensures that the fundamentals of our businesses are being met daily – we buy & sell books. Also consciously & actively looking for ways to improve our practices ensures steady growth.

“Never stop learning ; For when we stop learning, we stop growing.” ~ Loyal ‘Jack’ Lewman

Scheduling time to learn new information about our business/market & techniques for applying what we learn means that we are always growing – ourselves & our business.

“The best in business spend far more time on learning than in leisure.” ~ Robin Sharma

Our work flow as we expand will change again but for now, this work flow is taking us from where we are to where we desire to go next.

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Lining our ducks up in a row with our daily habits simply means more progress daily, weekly, monthly & yearly. That’s how we like things – simple, easy & effective.

Next I will discuss the importance of staying focused even when others around you are ‘not on your team.’

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Return On Investment Today

Repricing (selling our books) is part of our daily work flow. When we reprice our books, it keeps our books competitive and ensures more sales, if you do it right!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, thank you for that, I really appreciate your time, you will have heard me mention the term ROI i.e. Return On Investment. Everyone has at least heard of ROI.

How is it then that I have been speaking about ROI and hearing about it since Day One on our Book Arb journey and only now am I really starting to apply it properly?

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It’s funny how we can think we know something and still not apply it or think we are applying it.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” ~ Peter F Drucker

Let me explain how that plays out in Book Arb. Of course I have been familiar with the concept of buying and selling books and making a profit, I run an online bookstore after all.

However, I was applying the concept in a micro management way thinking that I was being “penny wise” i.e. looking after the profits on each book and that would take care of the overall profits.

Repricing (selling our books) is part of our daily work flow. When we reprice our books, it keeps our books competitive and ensures more sales, if you do it right!

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” ~ Warren Buffett

Now obviously making a profit on each book is important but because we were focused on getting as much profit out of each book individually we squandered time, momentum and compound interest.

Over the past year and half I have spent countless hours repricing our books daily. It’s part of the business and also shows Amazon, Big Daddy, that you are actively selling your stock as opposed to using Amazon as a warehouse for products that may or may not sell. This brings other benefits other than profits alone such as more exposure to more buyers thereby increasing your market share.

However, we were way too focused on holding onto our books to get a better price as opposed to selling as much stock daily for an overall ROI. We forgot to think about ROI on our overall investment monthly.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t, pays it.” ~ Albert Einstein

The chart below demonstrates how the same $10 compounding with only 20%, 25% & 30% profit over the course of a year way out performs holding out for a 100% profit every 8 weeks.

COMPOUNDING at 20% 25% and 30%

When I think about how much time I spent ‘nursing’ books i.e. repricing every day but not effectively I scratch my head. When I think about how much compound money I left on the table by not selling and turning over profits I am astonished.

For the record we have found that the longer our books are on the market, unless it’s a textbook season, the more inclined the price of the books are to decrease over time unless they are year round books. Hold that thought in your back pocket when repricing as it will serve you well. If you can sell for a profit today, sell.

Our strategy was ineffective on both a profitability and time wise front. Man, I didn’t really get it until recently. This business is about turning over as much inventory every month to compound the money for a staggeringly high year round ROI.

Can you see how ineffective our strategy was? We thought we were doing it right but man were we off?

Remember, it’s not about being busy, it’s about being effective. We have still made a lot of sales over the year but this one strategy slowed our progress big time.

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I would add that it’s not to say that it’s not possible to make 100% profit on most books, it’s just don’t delay holding out for it. A bird in the hand philosophy in this business will serve you much better.

It’s just all about buying the right books at the right price at the right time. When and where to look for these books and knowing how to read the Keepa charts makes this easy.

Do not be the bottle neck in your business by being ineffective. Buy and sell books every day. Compound your money by selling as much as you can as quickly as you can and you will be astonished at your progress.

Now that we have corrected our approach to repricing our profits are already increasing exponentially and we have more time back to ourselves. Repricing used to take me hours every day. Now, it takes a lot less time. Less time and more money, who knew?

Next, I will discuss the power of streamlining daily tasks & how we are doing it in our business.

Click Here To Start Making MoneyBook a call with me today where I explain everything

Swimming In My Own Lane

Swimming in our own lane makes for delicious progress as this way we have no competition. We only have forward momentum and success pulling us along the way. We are supported on the sidelines by real experts so it’s all systems go.

Sometimes in life we thwart our efforts by comparing ourselves to the swimmer in the next lane. It seems we are conditioned to measure our success with others in our circle i.e. our family and peers.water swimming competition pool

Now that myself and Tom are swimming in a bigger pond with book arb and moving in circles with others who are ahead of us in the financial sense there are times when our conditioned minds can show up and balk at our efforts. This is a mind trap. Do not fall for it.

The reality is that we are creating more money online every day. Since we are surrounded by others who have expanded past the point where we now find ourselves then we are in the right pond as it were.

So we are in the right place at the right time doing the right things. Golden!

Anytime you find someone more successful than you are, especially when you’re both engaged in the same business – you know they’re doing something that you aren’t.   ~ Malcolm X ~

When we are the ones in the room with the most to learn and the most progress to be made still ahead of us then we have the most to gain by being there. The figures that our peers are creating are simply staggering to us at this point but since we are learning from the best we are in the process of becoming the best ourselves.

It is important to acknowledge our own progress along the way and to celebrate our wins. We often know more than we realise and I love when I find myself answering a question on our community Facebook group that will help somebody else just as we have been helped.

Consider how much progress could you make if you only compared yourself to where you were say this time last year.

The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.   ~ Washington Allston ~

For us, this time last year we did not have a successful online business. We did not know anything about the lucrative book buying and book trading business. We were not generating daily profits. We did not have a certain way for creating predictable sums of  money. We did not have a community of cheerleaders and experts helping us to grow our business daily. We did not have money compounding at the extraordinary rate it is today.

Comparing ourselves to where we were and celebrating our wins gives us and our business powerful momentum. We are the only ones who are ultimately responsible for it so it is vital that we feel appreciation and passion for this entity that is changing our lives financially.

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.   ~ Babe Ruth ~

Positively reinforcing our efforts and honoring our progress to date fuels the trajectory of this amazing business. Being on board a train that is picking up speed and creating more profits and momentum along the way is exhilarating.

Successful book arbitrage business is a train that is available to everyone who has an internet connection and basic IT skills which excites me.

Swimming in our own lane makes for delicious progress as this way we have no competition. We only have forward momentum and success pulling us along the way. We are supported on the sidelines by real experts so it’s all systems go.

Next, let me share with you the exhilarating nature of textbook season and the amazing bump in profits that brings.

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