Today we’re talking productivity and self-motivation. Momentum is a physical metaphor. When you set yourself in motion, you’ll remain in a state of motion. Motivation is what gets you in motion to begin with.
If you’re starting out and want to get yourself into motion, you’re going to need three things:
When we talk about course, we’re talking about having a plan of action. You’re going to need a roadmap if you’re going to be successful. Create a business model that works.
Everyone is a member of a Facebook group. While these groups can have their purpose, they’re not ideal for helping you build your Amazon selling business. In-person masterminds are the perfect community to help guide you on your journey. If you can’t meet in person, online masterminds are the next best thing. Small groups are always best. The larger the group, the easier it is to get lost in the shuffle.
When we think of coaching, sometimes we’re too rigid with what that relationship should look like. A business partner or trusted confidant can be just as valuable as a traditional coach. If you need someone to help you stay motivated, maybe a conventional coach is the best option for you. For more information on one-on-one mentoring, visit http://amazingfba.com/mentoring.
Setting realistic goals is vital. Too often I see people that are new to selling on Amazon set unreasonable benchmarks for success. I’ve seen applications for mastermind groups that cite a targeted monthly turnover of $250k with only $5k to invest. That’s not a sensible goal. Having a big vision with no idea how to get there isn’t productive. Have a 1-3 year vision, but recognize that it’s just that, a vision.
If we’re talking about private label, the six-month timeline is typically suitable–particularly if you’re starting out. You’re going to have to push to get your first product out in six months. Eight months might be more realistic. Shooting for six months would mean your product goes live on Amazon before Christmas 2018.
When it comes to more actionable items, setting three goals for every two weeks creates a nice rhythm. That’s what I use with my mentoring clients. If you’re starting out building a business from scratch, you might come up with 50 product ideas, research 20 keywords, define a niche and come up with five product ideas. Three goals, two weeks, pretty simple.
The first thing you should do is track your time. You can use apps like Toggl, Rescue Time, or even jot down your tasks with pen and paper. Knowing exactly how your time is spent is the first step to maximizing productivity. Limit the time you spend answering emails to one session a day. Remember, as we learned from Aaron O’Sullivan in Episode 244, context switching tasks takes a lot of brain power and focus. The sooner you can start identifying & offloading tasks to a virtual assistant, the better.
All tasks have value. Some tasks–like paying your taxes–are essential. Other tasks–like writing social posts–hold less value. Build this into your schedule. Spend the most time on the most vital functions and spend that time first. Schedule these tasks like rigid appointments. Mentoring can help immensely with assigning task value.
Self-motivation is often about getting the ball rolling. One small victory can lead to many more substantial victories down the road. Setting yourself up for success means realistically defining success. Not all wins have a monetary figure. Learning processes and moving forward through them must be viewed as an achievement. Processes are repeatable and outsourceable. They help you grow as an entrepreneur.
Sometimes it’s a good strategy to test the market before putting in substantial buy orders for private label products. Often you’ll find after placing a small order and putting the product on Amazon without a private label that the market for your listing doesn’t exist. As long as you’ve not bankrupted yourself through this process, getting that feedback from the marketplace is in itself a win.
Don’t kid yourself. Set defined goals and achieve them. Don’t stagnate. Always be moving forward. If you’re six months in and haven’t identified a product, you’ve not set enough reasonable goals.
My biggest regret in running my Amazon business, and by extension this blog & podcast, was failing to outsource sooner. In outsourcing the editing of my podcast, I’ve freed up great vast chunks of time to work on higher-value tasks for my business.
Freeeup is a fantastic outsourcing tool. I have a connection with Nathan, so if you ever go through the affiliate link I’ve provided and haven’t received the service you deserve, send me an email (LINK). Nathan is very responsive and takes his business very seriously. That’s one of the biggest reasons I recommend him to my clients.
If you want to hire people long-term, Upwork might be a good solution for you. You’ll have to sift through more potential candidates much as you would in the traditional hiring process, but you’ll also get the benefits associated with long-term employment.
Fiverr is a classic place to find people to complete specific tasks; this is where I found Daniel (my podcast editor).
It’s up to you (and your mentor) to decide which of these services is right for you. With Upwork and Fiverr you’ll be working with huge companies that manage tens of thousands of freelancers. You’ll have very little access to customer service. Whereas with Freeeup you’ll have direct access to support specific to the tasks you wish to outsource.
For more on outsourcing, check out amazingfba.com/aaron.
It seems simple, but you have to recognize your limitations. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Be mindful of your morale. If you’re overworked or unhappy, your productivity will suffer. Take a nap if you need to. Exercise. If in doubt, get your ass to the gym. Go for a run. Staying active is essential. Bulletproof coffee is a lifesaver. Eat well. Poor nutrition leads to low energy.
Successful people meditate; Ben Cummings, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Branson, the list goes on. It’s not just for mung-bean eating hippies anymore. It works.
Gratitude lists are another useful tool used by successful people. Don’t forget where you came from. Pat yourself on the back when you deserve it. Be mindful of your successes; this will help you maintain perspective.