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Tag: Business

What *NOT* to do when you buy an e-commerce site

What *NOT* to do when you buy an e-commerce site

I recently sold an e-commerce site I owned. The buyer had plenty of time to ask questions before the sale and was happy with the price. He didn’t even negotiate. The transfer included not just the site with all products + suppliers, but also the facebook […]

How do you know when you have succeeded?

How do you know when you have succeeded?

As I was walking to work with my husband this morning, we had a conversation we have often. It always goes something like this: The Ambitious one: “I hope that X deal happens and Y deal happens and that Z project makes us $abc” The […]

Decluttering… in your head

Decluttering… in your head

Today feels a bit different than a usual workday. Yes, I have things to do. Yes, I’m procrastinating a little bit. But… for the first time in a long while, I feel entitled to a little bit of a mental vacation.

This isn’t to say I don’t take breaks. I do! I’ve even been a little bit lazy lately… but this week I feel less and less guilty about it.

One less thing on my mind

I think the main reason for the big shift lately is that I sold my eCommerce site. It didn’t take a lot of time to manage (maybe an hour per day), but I did think and worry about it constantly.
“Will I make enough sales today to cover my ad cost?”
“How could that customer be so mad at me when it was their fault in the first place for blah blah blah blah…”
“Should I increase my ad spend?”
“Is this product shipping on time?”

Now that the site has been sold, I feel so relieved! It’s not just the money that came in from the sale (that was nice) and not just the time I spent managing the site (clearly also nice), but the relief that it’s not my problem anymore!

Running this site wasn’t particularly stressful. Customer service is hands down the #1 thing that stresses me out, but the more I did it, the less it bothered me. Ad performance could have been more consistent, but overall I each week I was turning a profit. So it’s striking how much my outlook has changed after releasing myself from just this one responsibility.

What else can I declutter?

I can’t help but think of other responsibilities, and how you might not realize how much they weigh on you until you give them up.
A car.
A lease.
Real estate.
Bank accounts.
Being the person in the household who knows when you need to buy more coffee, when you need to sweep the floor, when you need to refill your phone credit…

Not all of those things are bad! (Cats = worth it!) but it’s worth noting how each responsibility feels.

You might not know you need it until you start…

When we left to travel, we figured that since we didn’t have too much stuff it would be easy to pack up and reduce… but every time we went through our closets or cabinets, we would magically find a whole carload of stuff to give away!

Again and again…. and then we sold most of our furniture and electronics on Craigslist… and every time, the act of giving things away was such a weight lifted off my chest.

It was only when the weight was gone that I realized it had been there this whole time.

It’s a relief to give up all that extra stuff, to realize that it’s not the positive kind of responsibility. I guess the “yoga” way of saying this is to “let go of things that no longer serve you”.

If a responsibility builds you up, keep it… if it weighs you down, let it go.

Easier said than done

It might be easy to tell the difference when you’re cleaning out your shoe rack (nope, still hard!), but it can be much harder to tell the difference when the situation is more nuanced.

The hardest question for me is, to what extent is each aspect of your business a positive or negative responsibility for you?

If your business is your livelihood, you’ll need to tolerate some negative things in order to keep the whole machine afloat. But which ones? Are they all necessary? Can you frame them differently so their impact is more positive?

At what point should you dump a client that is a bit of a nuisance?
At what point should you just reimburse that annoying customer (who doesn’t really deserve a refund) so you won’t need to hear from them anymore?
At what point should you leave your somewhat-reliable supplier and try a new supplier, not knowing what the outcome will be?
…and let’s not even get started on relationships!

There are no right answers. And for now, for this one small corner of my professional life, I don’t need to make those choices.

Consider me temporarily decluttered 🙂

How can I find a notary in France to certify a signature? How much does it cost?

How can I find a notary in France to certify a signature? How much does it cost?

Last week I needed to have a signature certified by a notary. I’ve had this done before, but I’m in France and wasn’t sure how it would work here or how much it would cost. When I asked the internet what to do, it told […]

How can I find a notary in Indonesia?

How can I find a notary in Indonesia?

While we were in Bali last fall, we needed certified copies of our passports. We wondered whether this would be complicated. Turns out, finding a notary and getting a certified copy in Indonesia is surprisingly simple. Step 1: Find the nearest notary on Google Maps. […]