New Year, New Life, New Goals (and the post I thought I’d never write)



I was convinced for better part of 2016 that I would abandon this blog forever.  The choice I hadn’t made was whether I would just let it die a natural death or if I would write a farewell post.  Turns out not making a decision is actually making a decision.  This is a poor way to run a business or to live a life for that matter.  While I’m still undecided, today I’ve chosen to take action in the midst of indecision which, in my experience, always produces better results!


Today I decided to write a post I thought I’d never write.  During my time of stepping away from the blog, I would occasionally still have readers contact me with encouraging words.  You told me how much a past post inspired you to take action, start a business, or earn extra income.  You told me about the life you never thought you could have, but that you do have- because of taking actions on things I wrote.  The comment I got more than anything though was “you seem like a real person.”  “You seem like a regular guy.”  “There are so many ‘gurus’ out there, but I followed you because you seem like someone I can actually relate to and someone who is actually doing what they are teaching.” You all encouraged me that my efforts on this blog have made a difference in your lives.  Thank you to all of you who reached out, shared your stories, asked questions, asked for help, shared your frustrations, decided to keep going and inspired me with your results! Now I need to admit that all of these emails came in while I was not taking action and not feeling inspired and not making the most of my business this last year!  The truth is, I was fairly depressed for a good part of 2016.


In 2015, my personal life changed pretty dramatically.  My wife and I were having a difficult time and over the course of many conversations and a number of counseling sessions, she came out as a lesbian.  We eventually mutually decided to divorce.  This is not something I thought I’d share publicly for a number of reasons including the fact that it’s a controversial subject.  I have no interest in starting a debate on this blog.  There are countless places you can go online for that kind of thing if you’re wanting to make it “an issue”.  Ultimately though, this is my story and I prefer to work toward greater and greater authenticity regarding how I present myself online.  Our divorce was mutual and amicable. It was final last February, but her and I remain friends and continue to raise our children together.

As you can imagine, these events changed things in many ways.  I now take on many more responsibilities being a single father, I have a house to maintain, meals to cook, errands to run (I was already doing some of this, but I do all of it now!)  This means my time is more limited than before.  In the midst of it all, I got fairly depressed- which is unhelpful for a business to say the least!  The upside of this, is I had built a business that still runs without my direct involvement in many areas.  Products get made, stocked, bought and shipped- and I get paid, all day every day- and I have very little involvement in the details.

While this can all sound quite glorious (“passive income!”) in reality, if we’re not working on our business, our business will not work.  My business definitely suffered.  Amazingly, I believe I’m still going to come out with a 6 figure year end profit, but I’m frankly quite astounded and there isn’t a chance of that happening another year without some serious effort!  I really let some things slide this last year! The fact that I’m still in business is largely due to the residual sales of my previous year of hard work.  The rest is from the minimal effort I put in this last year and some pure luck!  I’ve decided 2017 is my time for a change!


I already enrolled in college late 2016 and have completed one semester.  I plan to continue my business (almost no job is going to pay me what I’ve been able to make through selling online even with a college degree!) but I also want more education and I want a fallback plan in case the business doesn’t work out.  The fact is, selling online has gotten significantly harder since I started in 2006/2007.  There is a lot more competition, and Amazon eBay and Google continue to change the rules.  It’s becoming more and more important to work smarter.  Those who have some extra cash to begin with are going to be better off! (The more money you have to lose, the more mistakes you can afford to make!)  With this said, there are also more opportunities than ever! My goal is to find, learn and take advantage of every opportunity I can!


As I alluded to above, I’ve debated with myself endlessly about continuing this blog.  I originally started this blog because at the time, there were very few resources on in the ins and outs of selling online.  I had to learn it through trial and error.  I wanted to give others the opportunity to learn without so many failures in the process!  Since that time, however, a great number of blogs, podcasts, books, courses and resources have popped up everywhere that explain the process smarter, better and clearer than I ever could ever do!  I’ve never been a “professional blogger.”  This endeavor was always just a casual way of connecting with people and saying “hey, here is what’s worked for me.  Here’s what hasn’t.  Try out the stuff that works and see.”

I don’t doubt people have enjoyed and benefited from this blog in the past, but I don’t know that I have anything unique to offer in 2017.  I may end up just recommending the handful of blogs and resources I follow from so many great entrepreneurs and leave it at that!  On the other hand, I can’t seem to shake this feeling that maybe I could find something to offer or a unique angle that is valuable.  Especially with the emails I’ve received, I can’t help but wonder.  That question of “what could this be?”  or “what would happen if I kept going” tends to drive me… and maybe that will be enough- more trial and error.  I don’t know, but I’d love to hear personally from any of you who have benefited uniquely from this blog. This may get some ideas going of how I could utilize it for the benefit of the selling community going forward (feel free to comment or write me directly:  If I find a way to fill a need that is not currently being met, I am all for it!

The other part of the debate with myself is the financial side.  When I first started my business (and decided I wanted to quit my job) my mantra was simple: Look at everything that is making money and do more of it.  Look at everything that is not making money and stop.  I started this blog when I had already established a good income.  I never intended for this blog to be a money maker.  The fact though is that when I post regularly, it takes a good amount of time and the content is valuable.  If I continued, I would need to find a way to monetize the blog while still offering great free content!  If I don’t, it’s going to fall into the category of “not making money” and, in line with my mantra I’m going to have to focus on the areas of business that are bringing in income and put this blog to rest.

On top of all of this, taking over a year off the blog (other than a few income reports) has made it quite outdated.  There would be a lot to update.  My book (six step six figure system) is now only about 75% accurate due to Amazon changing a lot of policies (and my personal story changing for that matter!) and there are a great number of posts I’d want to write to get current on what is actually working in 2017!   These are decisions I need to continue to contemplate.  Either way though, it seemed like a good idea to write this post to update you all.

You’ve all been such fantastic loyal readers and have inspired me in ways that many of you don’t even understand!

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’d love to hear from you in the meantime!  Thank you as always for reading!

(oh! And if you haven’t subscribed yet, doing so will mean you’re the first to know when new plans develop and what the future holds- please enter your information below- you even get a free ebook out of the deal that gives you ways to make some extra cash right away!)

14 thoughts on “New Year, New Life, New Goals (and the post I thought I’d never write)

  1. Hi Daniel,

    Hope you’ve been doing well and was curious if you can provide an update on your business so far in 2017? Thanks and all the best!

    1. Hey Brent!
      Thanks for checking in! Honestly, it’s been a very rough year all around, but I’m still going! I ended up getting overly caught up in the private label craze the last couple of years to the point where I slowly but surely put nearly all of my effort and energy into those products at the expense of my arbitrage and wholesale streams. The sales of most of my private label products tanked at the beginning of this year. I quickly realized private label products on Amazon are not nearly as stable as I had believed. In response, I began to refocus heavily on wholesale and some arbitrage again. As for private labels products, I had/have about 16 private label products, but due to increased competition or decreased popularity, none of them were selling well early this year.

      My 2017 strategy is as follows:

      - Focus on building up “wide” inventory (not “deep”). This lowers the risk. In practical terms, this means ordering wholesale items and finding arbitrage products in quantities between 1 and 100 each and listing as large of a variety as possible.
      -Focus on promoting the private label products that have a promising future. The criteria for this is:
      1. Must still be profitable (50%-100% ROI)
      2. Must have HISTORIC low to reasonable competition
      3. Must be products that can have a following built around. In many cases, I’ve been guilty of creating “me too products”- in other words, products that don’t offer much in terms of uniqueness or value above what competitors offer.

      This leaves me with about 4 private label products that I’m focusing on and actively promoting- largely using a plug in that I had custom made for me. This has boosted the sales of these products significantly! Most of the other private label products are still selling, but slowly- and most not profitably, so I’ve not been actively promoting any of those and most likely won’t re-order unless I can get a better price.

      So essentially I’ve been re-building my business by following my own 6 steps! Imagine that! I admit I got caught up in the private label hype and ignored my own advice and it cost me!

      My hope is by mid 2018, I’m going to be in great shape! My hope is also to expand beyond Amazon. I have 2 concrete ideas and I also plan to revisit this blog as well when things stabilize. I realize I’ve likely lost the majority of my readers at this point, but I also believe when I “come out on the other side” I’ll have a tremendous amount of advice and guidance to offer to sellers. From the beginning, I have not wanted to give any advice that doesn’t work for me personally, and I believe if I’m able to build my business back up, I’ll have a lot of personal experience that will inspire many other people to build the life they want!

      That’s a very long answer to a short question, but I hope it’s useful!

    1. Hi Laura,
      The book is worth purchasing as about 90% is still extremely relevant, but it’s in need of an update (due to new Amazon policies, and site structure). However, if you have any questions about this, you can always email me about it and I’ll be happy to help you out!

  2. Hi Daniel. I haven’t been on your site in a while. I came here looking for a printed version of “System Start-Up” for a friend of mine who is really down and out. I thought it might give him some inspiration. It pained me to see what you’ve been through, amicable or not. We have similar stories in many ways. I’ve turned my personal life around with a great wife, and I’m trying to get the business going full-bore so I can quit my day job — again. Dude, update your print book! Why not? Update it, improve it, sell it. That’s my 2 cents. Hang in there. I never finished my bachelor’s degree either, BTW, though I do have an associate’s degree. I hope to do it one day soon, even though I’m staring at 57 years of age. My last round of college classes was interrupted by multiple hurricanes. Even natural disasters kept me from finishing by bachelor’s degree. Again, hang in there! Let us know if there’s anything we can do.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Stephen!
      It sounds like you’ve had storms of your own! (pun definitely intended!)
      About the time I wrote this post, my Amazon sales dropped off dramatically and have not recovered. After analyzing everything and doing a lot of thinking and talking it over with friends and family, I’ve got a pretty solid game plan going forward. Amazon has been my “bread and butter” for quite a while now. I will be focusing on rebuilding my income stream (which will include a few dramatic changes- getting rid of what’s not working and focusing on what is working) and once I regain stability there, I will start diversifying the income streams. I have a lot of ideas for this (and updating my books is certainly one of them) but my main focus is getting a handle on the stream that has paid my bills for the last 7 years. Once that is more stable, I can branch out. Keep checking back as there will be updates periodically.
      Thanks again for taking the time to write!

  3. Hi Daniel, I love your blog. I make money online several ways but not through FBA. Thank you for sharing. Would love for you to stay a part of the online community through this blog if you can make it work for you. Fred.

  4. Hi Daniel,

    I started selling on Amazon from reading your blog and ebook almost 3 years ago. I got busy last year and I did not read your blog for about 8 months. Today, I came to your blog to tell you how you’ve changed my life, my family’s and many of my friends lives.

    Income Report: 2015 sold $700,000 had 20% profit
    2016: sold $1.1million had 25% profit
    2017: Goal to sell $2.1million and on track

    Daniel I know for a fact that whatever YOU decide to do YOU will succeed at it. Dream big again, forget what happened and use it as a motivation to get to the next level. You are an awesome dude!

    You changed my life and now I want to give back. What can I do for you?

    Kindly respond,

    Your friend Kofi

    1. Wow Kofi! This is completely inspiring to me! I’m astounded that something I said or did at one point inspired you to build this business! I am going to reach out to you personally. Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. I was looking for answers regarding DVD sales on amazon and found your blog last year (2016). You were so kind to respond to a question or request. Your latest post is pretty impressive in its honesty. I guess that differentiates you from a lot of bloggers I’ve come across so far. Best of everything for 2017. I hope your business, further education and family life continue to bring much satisfaction, if not joy.

  6. I always found your blog very inspiring and highly related to me personally. In some way, I’m a bit like you, humble, honest and creative, but I haven’t achieved as much you’ve done so far. Over the years, your personal stories and your unique approach to handling issues has encouraged me to keep moving despite difficulties. I’m sure you’ll make a smart decision that will suit your goal. All the best for whatever you’ll do in the future.

  7. Hi Daniel,
    I just wanted to say that I love your blog, I came across it exactly 3 years ago this month. After reading all the info from your posts I ran out and bought a bunch of toys to sell on Amazon UK and I have never looked back since. I went on to do the ASM 3 Course because of your recommendation and this also was a good move for me. I currently sell my private label products on Amazon UK, EU and US and turn over a healthy six figure income :) I left my day job 18 months ago and my life has never been better….and it was all thanks to finding your blog!! Find a way to monetize your blog and keep it going please :)
    Best regards,

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