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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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.

group of people in a discussion

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.

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Benefits of Giving

There have been many times, too many to count that members of our community have gone out of their way to assist us beyond what one would usually expect. It is a pleasure to do this for others too. The momentum of giving just keeps growing.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill

It is true from an altruistic point of view that it feels wonderful to give to others. That has been well documented. When you feel good you are inspired and thereby automatically open to new ideas and opportunities.

adult birthday birthday gift box

It is our nature as humans to give which is why it feels so good to engage in giving to others. When we give, we gain. When we give to others not seeking personal gain that is when we give the most and others benefit most powerfully.

When we are free in our giving and not expecting to get back in return from that person or circumstance, that is when we are in the most potent form of giving. Giving without expectation is pure giving.

From a bigger picture standpoint you may well be aware of the law of reciprocation which allows us to receive what we give or do. When we give we receive more back. It is a law of life and not just a feel good strategy. That is the way of things and the form of giving I am speaking about.

Just to be clear. We feel good when we give. Others benefit when we give. We then benefit in the act of giving and then receive more to give and the cycle continues.

Because we are creating book arbitrage as a success in every sense of the word we are deliberate in our spirit and application of giving as a strategy for expansion as individuals and as a business strategy.

We all benefit from that.

We are accomplishing this by writing this blog which supports individuals in their book arb journey. Having the success mindset as well as the system for creating wealth go hand in hand.

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One without the other not only leads to less success but less clarity or fun along the way. We are happy to share what we know, offering value to as many people as we can.

These blogs not only benefit our readers with its powerful content but us too as it causes us to focus on purposeful creation as a way of life. It takes the idea of giving from being an interesting one to a way of life.

We contribute daily to our Facebook community by sharing our insights and knowledge. The benefit to us is that we too learn more succinctly by helping others as we consider their issue and offer ways that we have solved it ourselves or could solve it.

This is a win-win already as we cement those strategies into our core by teaching what we are learning (that is the highest form of learning). We then are further supported and contributed to by our amazing community.

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” ~ Ben Carson

There have been many times, too many to count that members of our community have gone out of their way to assist us beyond what one would usually expect. It is a pleasure to do this for others too. The momentum of giving just keeps growing. Boom!

In short, the more we give, the more we get. The more passionately we show up for others the more others show up for us too. Not only that but the more opportunities and magic manifests in our lives inside and outside of business.

Whenever we are speaking to others outside of book arb we also speak about the benefits of the system. The more people who create wealth in their lives with ease the better this world will be.

Not that it isn’t a fantastic world already, it is, but expansion is our nature. We were born to manifest our best lives and whilst book arb isn’t the only way to accomplish that, it is a certain way to create financial freedom and independence with a community of amazing people in a short amount of time.

The benefits of sharing what we have found with the world are salivating to ponder. We enjoy thinking of more ways to be of more gain to more people.

The blessing of that in our lives are already immeasurable and being a link in the chain whereby others can benefit as well, now that’s just the sweet spot!

Next, I will discuss the power of rolling money over and over in this business.

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Working Smarter, Not Harder

We are both aware of our strengths and weaknesses and have designed our business around us. We do what works best for us and that is why we enjoy it as much as we do and why we are becoming so successful with it.

“Just because you work more, doesn’t mean you get more. That’s why you need to work smarter, not harder.”   ~ Paul Chucks

Everyone hears that phrase work smarter, not harder and agrees. It’s obvious, right? But is it? How many people actually apply this in their lives? Only when you apply it in your life/business do you know it, as one of my mentors says.

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When it comes to this system with book arbitrage the guess work has been taken out of it in terms of the actions to take. For me this gives us all who use this system a huge advantage as so many dreams fall by the wayside not because people aren’t willing to take action, but they don’t know which actions to take.

“Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference.”   ~ Unknown

With the correct action steps already spelled out for us collectively let’s dig a little deeper to see how we can then apply these in an individually smart way.

As individuals we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Are you aware of both your strengths and weaknesses? What are you naturally good at and what is challenging for you?

Once you figure this out in your book arbitrage business it is easy to devote more of your time to doing the parts that bring you the most satisfaction and thereby profitability i.e. your strengths. It also allows you to delegate the other tasks i.e. your weaknesses in the business, either immediately or over time depending on your budget .

This means you spend most of your time being productive, feeling good and getting results. The joy is in the journey and not just the outcome and your quality of life and confidence automatically increase too – almost instantly.

Any time you spend on your business is time you never get back. So it must be the best use of your time. Enjoying your role in it will make it feel like fun and not like work at all. Now that is smart!

If you take the 10 minutes or so to do this exercise your role will become clearer not just for today but every day in your business. With this awareness you can design your business around your strengths and weaknesses and that is how big success is achieved. It ends up being pretty effortless as you mostly do what you enjoy.

This is not to say that you ignore your weaknesses. On the contrary, once you are aware of them you can either allocate time in your schedule to do those tasks (when you are a small operation), say once or twice a week and then you know they are handled or allocate them to someone else who does enjoy those particular areas.

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths not by eliminating our weaknesses.”   ~ Marilyn vos Savant

This strategy really freed me from the tyranny of fruitless efforts. I used to think I had to shore up my weaknesses and spent an inordinate amount of time ‘trying’ to improve those instead of expanding on my strengths. Talk about frustration and hard work. Doh!

Now, however, since the very beginning of book arb I am very clear on my role as I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I enjoy my tasks as I am good at them e.g. buying/selling books, repricing, online networking, blogging etc.

I am also happy to delegate my weaknesses e.g. setting up spreadsheets, statistics, sorting out returns, setting up a website for this blog etc. It turns out Tom is brilliant at those tasks and loves doing them. Win-Win.

We are both aware of our strengths and weaknesses and have designed our business around us. We do what works best for us and that is why we enjoy it as much as we do and why we are becoming so successful with it.

Going forward we are both looking forward to delegating even more of our tasks to others who love those roles too. This will free up our time even more and allow us to enjoy the lifestyle we are creating. Book arb is about TIME and MONEY FREEDOM equally for us.

What are your strategies for working smarter, not harder? Be sure to do this exercise for being clear on your strengths and weaknesses today and not just intellectually agree that it is a good idea to do. It only works if you do it.

Being crystal clear about these and using them to your advantage is another essential strategy for easy success. Success isn’t hard once it’s clear. It’s simple and obvious.

Next, I will break down the exact way we are buying books to great effect.

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What We Wish We Knew When We Started

Using this system allows us to grow our inventory and thereby sales in an accelerated manner and expand our buying, selling and thereby profitability in as short a time frame as I have ever seen.

The biggest thing that I wish I understood at the beginning was the strategy for the initial funding of book arbitrage as a business. Now, Jon & Luke explained it many times since last October but I did not hear it in a way that I really understood, that was until yesterday.

adult book business cactus

Their system for building wealth quickly is genius once you get it. It’s so easy I missed it. So here it is.

“We teach best what we most need to learn.”   ~ Richard Bach ~

Using a credit card buy as many books as you can using the software of course for speed and accuracy. For the sake of argument let’s say you have a credit card limit of $5,000. Spend the $5,000 on books and only pay the minimum amount off monthly. Let’s say for the sake of this example that’s $100 a month.

Now at the same time as you are paying $100 a month on your credit card you also have $5,000 in inventory actively working for you. Using this strategy from the beginning money can start rolling over as you make sales and reinvest those profits and it’s possible to receive 10, 20, 30, 50, 100% return on investment when you buy right.

To be clear, most credit cards have a minimum repayment of 3-5% but let’s put that at a whopping 15%. With the help of the book arbitrage software you can confidently predict anywhere from 10-100% return on investment with your active inventory – at $5,000 in our example.

When we add book trades to book arbitrage as another funding strategy it is a another phenomenal boost in profits. It is free money that is put on your AZ gift card that allows you to buy more books and boost more sales. That’s exponential growth for free!

Do you get it? I didn’t get this at first because I could not conceive of going into credit card debt as a way to build a business. My past financial woes included a lot of credit card debt that took me a long time to overcome. Perhaps you have a similar story.

However, using this system allows us to grow our inventory and thereby sales in an accelerated manner and expand our buying, selling and thereby profitability in as short a time frame as I have ever seen.

Continuing with this strategy to pay off a credit card at $100 a month whilst your profits grow in a compounding way once reinvested is why it is easily achievable to reach the target of six figures in a year to 18 months when applied right. All for $100 a month. That is insane to me.

“You don’t get any points in life for doing things the hard way.”   ~ Tim Fargo ~

Not understanding this or applying this strategy we got a loan out so we now have our money compounding for us in an accelerated way but it could’ve been even easier.

I would caveat this by saying when starting off for the first couple of months we would recommend buying a small number of books to learn how to buy right and wrong before committing your funds. But once you know what you’re doing I can see no reason not to pull the trigger.

New Zealand sign - choose - easy way - hard way

Why do something the slow hard way when there is a fast easy proven way? Well, even with mindset as my greatest strength I had a blind spot. Now I see it, watch this space for a change in gears. This already amazing business just became even easier!

Next, I will share other nuances that are making a difference to our bottom line. These small but systematically used techniques have a powerful impact on our ongoing business.

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Accountability In Profit Making

Accountability keeps us on track and is the gift that keeps on giving. Our expansion is assured because of it and our success is certain and accomplished as a byproduct. We love it.

“Vision without execution is just hallucination.”   ~ Henry Ford ~

Everyone gets ideas about how to become rich at some point in their lives. The only difference between those who accomplish it and those who don’t is action.

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The beauty of book arbitrage for us with Jon Shugart and Luke Sample is that the path to success has been so clearly laid out. They have left nothing to chance and given us the treasure map where X marks the spot for us to create certain wealth in our business.

We have been taught how to source books at low prices and sell at high prices by experts that are hugely successful with this business model and show up every week to answer our questions and help us to expand our business.

Imagine you had Henry Ford show up every week in your life showing you exactly how to become successful. Well….

Jon and Luke hold themselves accountable to the community by showing up every week. They are constantly expanding and upgrading their software which makes our lives easier, faster and of course more profitable on the backend. The power of their execution and intent of purpose inspires us as a community to be more accountable to ourselves and one another.

For our part we show up every day in our home business to buy books, reprice, do trades, and all the other tasks that it takes to run this mini empire. We hold ourselves accountable by showing up every week on the webinars that are there to help us grow.

Additionally we show up on Facebook to ask and answer questions with the community. Every week we blog our experience so that our journey may be of value to others and it is also an accountability strategy.

“What gets measured, gets improved.”   ~ Robin S. Sharma ~

It allows us to improve and grow our business because we are conscious of where we are and where we are going. Serving others and growing ourselves is a wonderful result!

With other members of our family, who are also creating financial freedom through this book arbitrage system, we hold weekly video calls where we discuss strategies and solutions and inspire each other to set and reach our weekly, monthly and yearly goals.

We schedule all of these activities so that we easily and systematically execute them. It requires very little effort because we have set it up this way. It’s what we do and who we are.

By holding ourselves accountable and by creating our lifestyle around our success we have made the road to success almost effortless and way more fun.

Masterminding our conscious financial freedom is not hard work. It is exciting. Holding ourselves accountable is easy when the goal is being reached daily, weekly, monthly and eventually yearly.

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for, but rather something to be achieved.”    ~ William Jennings Bryan ~

Accountability keeps us on track and is the gift that keeps on giving. Our expansion is assured because of it and our success is certain and accomplished as a byproduct. We love it.

Next, let me share with you some specific figures with you that we are accomplishing on our road to financial freedom. They are pretty cool.

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