A look back at how it all started

I was thinking about when I first had inklings of being drawn to an entrepreneurial lifestyle. It actually extends back across 3 decades! A rough timeline:

Early 1980s – As a child, I had plastic, pastel colored blocks that stacked on each other. I’d stack two or three together until I had a few separate columns to make ‘perfume bottles’! I lined them up on our living room window sill and would pretend to sell to people who walked by our house. How cute is that!?

Late 1980s – My sisters and I would make stationary to sell to each other. We’d soak sheets of paper in the work tub in our basement, paint the sheets with watercolor, and hang them to dry. Then we’d create cards and sell them from our ‘stores’, aka folding tables set up in front of our couch. I made $2.52, in coins of course.

Late 1990s – In our high school gym there were banners of companies, owned by the parents of students, who were sponsors or supporters of the school. I was so inspired at the thought of being able to own your own business, and using it to support something important to you. The reality of that seemed out of reach at the time, but the idea stuck with me.

Early 2000s – After college, I was going through old items before moving. I had a Disney Sleeping Beauty snow globe that I was ready to part with so my father listed it on Ebay. Every day he’d give me an update on the highest bid and toward the end of the auction, there was a bidding war and it sold for $23! Not a ton of money, it piqued my interest and I started selling random items on the site. I loved seeing proceeds start to accumulate in my PayPal account as items sold. Addicting.

Early 2010s – I came across iStockPhoto and thought for sure I’d be able to generate royalties from my travel photos. I submitted the three ‘test’ pictures. I received an email within a couple of days saying they were being rejected. The email was phrased nicely, but that was a blow. I still want to revisit that option and keep after it until it works.

Mid 2010s – I began to explore the idea of Ebay as a business. I was excited about the idea initially, but after a few times shopping around in thrift stores and accumulating some things, I began to realize that wasn’t for me. Action creates clarity, as they say 😉 I realized I wasn’t cut out for shopping around in flickering, fluorescent light, flipping through hangers and looking through old dusty items in hopes of finding something of value. It’s something that I enjoy when the mood strikes me, but it’s not something that I want to do consistently.

In the course of doing research for Ebay, I gravitated to videos by Raiken Profit. His videos are fast paced and packed with info. In addition to talking about his Ebay business, he also began referencing his work on Kindle Publishing through Amazon. The idea of publishing eBooks caught my interest, so I started the process and published a book! I tracked the stats for days 😉 That started the ball rolling on the idea of passive income. Definitely something I’ll continue.

Taking action and moving forward before all the details are ironed out is key for me. In the past, I would have gone around in circles to figure out the ‘right’ way to do something, trying to guess the outcome. It’s so much more effective to start with what you have, get feedback, course correct, and try again. What stands out to me is that I’ve been continually drawn to entrepreneurial pursuits through the years and my focus now is to be intentional about it and find a way to make it work for me.

Until next time 🙂

About Sarah Aileen

See It | Believe It | Live It

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