This is the last part of my story blog post series. It was a while since I posted. I got super busy with eBay business model which I will keep you inform on. As you read you will see that my goal in building a multiple income stream is coming to pass. And the best news is that you can do it too. If you miss part 1 or 2 check them here.
Discovering the Kindle course was heaven sent. I continued to make it work. I felt like I was getting somewhere.
It felt great to actually make passive income. Things were looking up and I started feeling like I can really make it.
During that time I still attended church services and played my vital role serving others. A specific night at service my pastor was teaching about friends and trust. At that time my trust for people was waning. That’s one of the reason I didn’t tell people I was homeless. Even those closest to me. but this night my pastor mentions about having someone in your corner. “There’s gotta be someone you can rely on”. As he spoke I could feel that message being directed at me. he didn’t know my situation, but God did. A friend of mind did know of me being homeless. He had offered me to stay at his place. But I hesitated.
Later I soon took the offer after the local news mentioned of a blizzard coming our way. I remember that day vividly. I just left work, I happened to call him for something. Then he said his offer still stand if I needed a place to crash to avoid the storm. I replied I’ll be okay. So there I was standing outside my job next to my Nissan Pathfinder as soon as I hung up the phone the snow began to fall. In my gut I knew this was going to be a bad storm. I remember what my pastor had said and looking at the snow falling. I called my friend back and said I’ll stay there till the storm pass.
I stayed at his place, he had a spare room. I slept on the floor. There was a bed, but I didn’t want to get to comfortable. So I slept on the floor. Truth be told it felt good sleeping with my legs fully stretch not like when I was sleeping in my car.
The next day when the storm was over I grabbed my things and headed out. Not to long about one or two days later another snow storm was announced. My friend said his offer still stand that I could stay at his place again. This time I passed on the offer and stood in the cold. I remember sleeping in my car that night and how cold it was. I had these thermal socks but the wind cut right through them. My blankets were of little use also. I weathered the storm and went about my business. I went to work at my overnight job.
Yet again another snow storm was announced just one day after the last one. I was like “come on man!” I mean we were getting hit back to back to back with snow storms in two weeks times. This time I called my friend up and stayed there a bit longer. I got the message, that God was saying you better find shelter. I’m glad I did because that snow storm was worse than the other two.
Luckily my friend had Wi-Fi this made it possible to worked on my online business with ease. And it felt great to sleep on a bed and not in my car (yes I finally slept on the bed). My friend told me I could stay and help with the rent or till I find something better.
Those six months being homeless taught me a lot about me, and a lot about how much God can provide and protect at the same time. I learn to appreciate the sun on those cold days. What made it even better was the fact there was Wi-fi. This only meant that I can progress to building an online business with continence without always going to the local library.
The kindle business was going good and growing. Matter of fact it was going so good in May I hired a virtual assistance from the Philippines to help me run the business. I remember telling a friend,
“Last year I was unemployed, and this year I’m hiring an assistant.”
It was a major turnaround for me and my online business pursuits.
With that success I was feeling good yet a bit lonely on this journey. While at work (my overnight job) I would listen to podcast and other recordings. Napoleon Hill was often someone I listen to in Think and Grow Rich. One night at work he said one thing that finally struck a chord with me. “Mastermind”
A mastermind is the collective brain power of individuals coming together in perfect harmony on a giving goal or outcome.
I did some research on it and came across a webinar by Pat Flynn, (which I also listen to) so my next move was to find a mastermind group. I went on Facebook on Pat Flynn’s Facebook group and ask if anyone knows of a mastermind group? There were some already started and weren’t looking for people. A few people said they would like to start one. What happened was I ended started my own mastermind group with the people who were interested.
We would meet on a weekly basis to talk about our online entrepreneurial pursuits. It went pretty well for a year, we still keep in touch from time to time. But in the beginning it was every week we would discuss our businesses and goals. It was a great experience to have like-minded successful people working together. Very supportive and positive. I remember I told them the amount of money I want to make. Not one of them made fun of me, or telling me it will never happened. We were so sure we can do anything. I loved it so much. It was like hanging out with people who dare to dream and believe. Sort of like Steve Job and Steve Waskniack and other great people assembled to create something great.
This new belief led me to other things. I got caught on the “shiny object” thing. If you don’t know what the shiny object thing is. Its following a new craze, or new business that seems profitable. I mean all business model can be a form of a “shiny object” it depends if you are always chasing after one business and another without completing any of them.
This shiny object for me came in the form of SAAS. Which stands for Software As A service. I first heard of it on Pat Flynn’s the Smart Passive Income show with Dane Maxwell. After that podcast I was hooked. I signed up for the Foundation email. They sent me a bunch of materials. All great content. My aim was to achieve the success his students had on establishing a software as a service. The technique was so simple that it seems too unreal. So many were having success with it. I read all the articles and listened to countless podcast done by Dane Maxwell and his Cousin Andy Drish- I was soaking everything up. I went on my own and decided to call a few businesses to set up a phone call interview or as they call it, “Idea Extraction”. I did the research mentioned how to track leaders and speakers at conferences.
My first phone call was terrifying. The guy I called in the housing industry seemed to be okay with his software. So I let that one go. Then I decided to go after dentists to see what their greatest pain point were. But I didn’t follow through with it. I had a chance to join the Foundation, but I could not afford the course. And deep down if I could afford it. I would most likely pass it up. Because I had enough materials to do it on my own. And I like the challenged. But this was a shiny object for me. Truth be told the materials on the Foundation are great for any business models. Maybe one day I’ll revisit this business model. It is very promising, like anything. If you work it, it will work. But my heart wasn’t into it as much. I still go by what the late great Notorious B.I.G said, “Don’t make moves unless your hearts in it.”
Another shiny object I almost followed was T-Spring business model. I have tons of t-shirt ideas. I always kept a note pad full of ideas. T-spring business model is a good one. But I could not devote the time to it, it needed. Plus I was so busy with the e-book business model.
My kindle business was doing okay (and still is), but I wanted to do more. I always wanted to blog. I have read of so many people who blog and make a full time income. And I wanted to be one of them. Again this goes back to “multiple streams of income.”
God lead me to Yaro Starok, an Australian blogger who makes his living blogging. Again I soaked up his materials. With him it was his podcast. The success stories were so amazing that I knew this was the next step. So for about a year I listened to him, and I still listened to Pat Flynn. But Yaro niche was purely on blogging. Turning your expertise into a full time income. I read his book The Blog Profit Blue Print also listened to the audio version. I started following him where he popped up. I did a google search on him to see if he was legit. And he was. A very humble, kind dude. His background checks out. I couldn’t find any mud on him. His guest speaks highly of him. I continued to listened to his podcast.
I wanted the know how to turn blogging into money, so I dove in yet again and bought his online course Blogmastermind. And I must say I love it. The information in his course is outstanding. Plus he does a monthly meeting with all his students via private webinar. Man o man the knowledge he shares is gold. I really thank God for leading me to great online people who aren’t crooks. But are actually decent people. Needless to say I am still applying his techniques and teachings.
Before I continue I must state why the name of this website is called Third Shift Millionaire. The name came about while working the third shift (overnight) I had set up my kindle business model and I said to myself, my money is working hard for me, even while I sleep. It sounded good. Besides I was working the third shift and third shift millionaire made sense. So I bought the domain and as they say the rest is history.
I had on my wall goals for 2016, one was to launch my YouTube channel, there are other books posted that I plan to write and one goal was to start FBA.
FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. I wanted to jump on the FBA band wagon after hearing the story of Jessica and Cliff Larrew and listening to Scott Voelker from the Amazon Seller. Again through pod-casting I learned of a new business model this was around November 2015. PL which stands for Private Label. Private label is buying an item from china importing it with your own label or logo on it. For example you see a baby bib, you contact a manufacture in china and spruce up a deal with them to have them manufacture one for you except you put your personal logo on it and a few adjustment to make it better than the leading competitor. Not a knock off, but a real genuine product people already buying on Amazon. Except now you sell your version. Making it your very own and unique product. This also means that it’s your personal brand and no one else can sell it.
This is the next business model that I set out to conquer. I had set a goal to do this on March 2016. When I received my income tax I figure the best thing to do was do FBA. I was going to do the Private Label. Before diving in I decided to ask how to really get started. I went on the Amazing Seller Facebook group, and the response I got was unanimous.
The suggesting was for me to begin with RA, which stands for Retail Arbitrage. Arbitrage is buying something at a low price and reselling it at a higher price. I felt a little discourage because I had my heart set on doing Private Label. I wanted to invest $400.00-$700.00 on inventory which came from my income tax return. The good folks on that Facebook group mentions to me why doing retail arbitrage would be better.
- private label requires more capital to start.
- Its time consuming, requires a lot of research and back and forth with a manufacture.
- Its not for the novice.
I was advised to start with RA (retail arbitrage) to get an idea of what sells on Amazon and how the system works. I took there advice and begin my Retail Arbitrage business. Here is a glimpse of sales I made within the first weeks and into the next month of starting. What I did was go around my apartment and send in items I know would sell. It was a low cost, low risk entry to a new business model. This was the easiest way I’ve made money online.
As you can clearly see FBA works and pays off. This only fueled my fire to continue to grow my online business. Like I mentioned before about my goal to have “multiple streams of income”
I did make a few mistake when I first started, like when I went to Wal-mart and bought a bunch of clothes. Come to find out I could not sell any of them because I had to be “Ungated” in order to do so. Thanks to a YouTuber by the name of Entrepreneur Girl video I watched help me get ungated. I ended up sending and selling the clothes a few months later. But it was a good lesson to learn. I like the fact I took action instead of seeing it as a lost. I live by this motto now;
“Entrepreneurs leap off the cliff first, then they learn to fly on the way down.”
As an entrepreneur that has to be a train of thought. When the odds are against you, creativity somehow comes forth.
Back to the Kindle e-book business
I heard it said this way, “Don’t leave money on the table”
On December 2015, before I started FBA in the mastermind group I was advised to quit the kindle business because I put more money in than I was making. Yes that was true. But with most business sometimes you take a lost upfront in order to get it out there and build on it with repeated sales later on.
Even though I was advised to quit. Which was a punch to the gut. This came about after we discus the nature of our businesses. I told the members how much I invested into the E-book business. A member said judging by the returns I should stop putting money into it. To be honest I felt hurt, I never mentioned that in the group. But I saw their point. I remember after we hung up on the Google hang out. I sank to the floor. This was my first online business, and I felt like a failure because it wasn’t profitable pr making me as much.
Though I respected the others opinion I knew in my gut this business has potential. So I let it sit for a bit, not putting money into it any longer. But what I found was that the Kindle Publishing business is truly a passive income generator.
Because I did not want to leave money on the table. I applied a trick I learned from Yaro Starok and Chris Duker. It’s a well-known internet term called “Re-purpose content” what I did was take the books published on Amazon and put them through ACX. ACX stand for Audiobook Creation Exchange. With this platform you can turn your written books into audio books, either you record it yourself or you hire a voice actor.
So this was my next business endeavor. Again this is all with the mindset of multiple streams of income. Due to getting laid off three times in two years, this was my answer. Never to count on one job. Never to count on one source of income. This is what I meant by I didn’t get angry, I simply aim to get better. No longer will I have to wait on one paycheck. My goal is to build as many successful financial streams of income to where I can do what I want and leave working my overnight job. I hate having to live paycheck to paycheck. And the only way I see is to leverage my God giving time and talents. In this way I can be better off. This is not greed, it is financial freedom.
After I learned the ins and out of ACX I hired voice actors for my books. I’ll share a link for the book I wrote myself mentioned earlier this is from audible.com my book the daily devotional was done by a talented man who goes by the name of Andrew L. Barnes. I had many auditions but I settled on him to do this book. You can listen and pick up your copy here (Please buy a copy and show some support, I greatly appreciate it.)
When I first heard him read my book, I was at home about to head out, I hit play on my phone and I started to cry. This book has been a labor of love since 2010 I worked on this book with many ups and down in my life. And to hear my written word being spoken through an audio book made me get on my knees and thanked God for this gift. I was overjoyed.
But it didn’t stop there, my journey was just getting bigger. After that success with the ACX platform I decided to do Creatspace. Createspace is an Amazon print on demand service, where you can print books, CD’s and DVD’s. Again to create another stream of income I tested a few products and ideas. If I learned anything from history is that the greatest men who ever did anything great test, failed, tested and failed their way to success. And I’m no different.
I decided to print my books through Createspace . In the process I leaned about the importance of ISBN and another print on demand service called Ingram Spark. I did my due diligence and homework comparing both Createspace and Ingram. Ingram I found is more well known because of its history with the book industry. And your books have a better chance at making it to other stores such as Barnes and Noble and other online sites. Because I had little capital I bought one ISBN (in the future I plan to buy more) again I was testing this new field. (**Side note never be afraid to test an idea; remember Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers**)
So I put Unbound Faith through Ingram then Createspace . The thing I found out is that when you publish your book through createspace and choose other distribution option. Createspace act like they are your publisher. But this is a red flag for book stores. Because createspace does not allow book returns if the book store don’t sell the amount they order. And the book stores loss on discounts set by creatspace.
Because I didn’t have so much capital upfront. I decided to release the Common Law of Money under CreateSpace which I will later remove and republish with my personal ISBN. What this does is make my company the publisher and not CreateSpace. (don’t let this part confuse you)
While I was working on this, I made an announcement on my Facebook page about the books I was coming out with. A week or two later, I’m walking into church to do some cleaning and Bishop and his wife pulled up to the church (for those who wonder who Bishop is he is the Bishop/pastor of my home church) as I opened the door I hear 1st lady (my pastors wife) say, “Sam how come you don’t announce your books to the church?
After that comment I decided to make an announcement at my church about my books. So the following Sunday I made the announcement and did a book signing. The event went pretty well. I sold out of all the printed books. And I gave away a few free audio books to some lucky members. Here I am at my first book signing.
It was a day I’ll always cherish.
You can check out both books here
This all took place February 2016. it was in Late April early May I jump on the FBA bandwagon. Truth be told I haven’t published a book since February 2016 and I still get royalties from works I did back in 2015. Plus with the added channels ACX, and CreateSpace. I am soon realizing my goal of multiple streams of income.
If you want to get started making money online I would definitely buy this course. Although when I first started working on my first book, making money online was the furthest thing from my mind. Yet I have found that when you start taking actions old ideas can find new homes. The Bible states, “Faith without works is dead being alone.”
This journey just keeps getting better and bigger. I’m in this for the long haul, I really don’t know where I will end up. My end goal is to be a multi-millionaire, but I can’t orchestrate which road or businesses will lead me to it. Yet I know that God orders my steps,. There’s a motto I heard and live by, “The how is up to God.” Most importantly;
But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
If you need help to get started with your online entrepreneur journey or if you want content to keep you motivated. Then stick around this blog and sign up to get notices when I release new materials.
At your Service Samuel A.