Entrepreneurship

Dealing With FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) And How To Find Work Life Balance

I have a love hate relationship with Facebook. On one hand, Facebook allows me to keep in touch with and keep track of what my friends are up to. But on the other hand, I often leave Facebook with a healthy dose of jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. For example… One of my Stanford classmates just sold his company for over 500 million dollars. (Me: I feel like a slacker) Another friend is living it up by taking time off and travelling the world. (Me: Why am I working so hard?) My buddy J is doing all this cool...

6 Simple But Effective Habits That Improve Your Productivity

Not too long ago, I was working 40 hrs/week as an electrical engineer, running an online store with my wife, writing posts for my blog, putting out a weekly podcast, teaching an ecommerce course and holding an annual conference all at the same time. In fact, it was only recently that I quit my full time job as a microprocessor designer even though I loved being an engineer. If you are curious, here’s why I finally quit. Editor’s Note: For a breakdown of my various businesses, check out my latest income report. Now on the surface, this sounds like a...

Why Good Grades Often Lead To Failed Businesses

Growing up as an Asian American with strict parents, I was expected to get good grades in whatever subject I took. There were no exceptions. And even though I haven’t taken a class in decades, the thought of getting a B still sends chills up my spine. In fact, I occasionally have nightmares where I’m taking an exam in a classroom full of nerds and I don’t know any of the answers. Crazy right? Now what if I told you that getting good grades was bad for entrepreneurship and that my entire Asian upbringing actually hindered me from starting...

How To Get Lucky – 3 Ways To Improve Your Luck In Business And Life

Every business requires a little bit of luck in order to succeed. And often times, success depends on timing and being at the right place at the right time. But do you ever wonder how some people keep getting lucky over and over again? Is it just a coincidence that some entrepreneurs always seem to find a way to steer luck in their direction? Personally, I don’t believe in coincidences but I know many of you are skeptical. For example, below is an excerpt of an email that I recently received from a reader after she listened to my...

Starting A Business: Convincing Yourself To Take Action And The Key To Behavioral Change

I’ve been helping would be entrepreneurs for nearly eight years now and one thing I’ve discovered is that you can’t really push someone to take the entrepreneurial plunge. Either you have the desire to start your own business or you don’t and most people can’t get over the uncertainty that’s involved with being your own boss. A while back, I went through several months worth of email for MyWifeQuitHerJob.com and came to the conclusion that most people get stuck on 2 main things when starting their business. One, they can’t come up with a good business idea and two,...

5 Habits Of Successful Entrepreneurs That I’ve Witnessed Personally

As someone who writes about entrepreneurship and teaches others how to sell physical products online, I make a habit of following as many entrepreneurs as I can. It doesn’t matter if you’re famous or just starting out, I’ll at least check out your website to see what you have to say. But even though I love reading posts about entrepreneurship, I’ve become increasingly jaded with the cliches that I’ve been seeing. “Learn to fail” “Learn from your mistakes” “Understand your weaknesses” “Hustle hard” “Fail fast and often” Don’t get me wrong. These articles all offer great advice but it is difficult...

What Amazon Doesn’t Want You To Know About Running An Ecommerce Business

You’ve probably heard the popular saying that “if you teach a man to fish, you can feed him for a lifetime”. And if you apply that same saying to business, you get… If you rely on a single company for all of your sales, then that company owns you. Every time Amazon changes one of its policies, I always get a flood of emails from people who have had their businesses completely ruined. Just the other day I had a reader email me that he invested $200K in inventory for the holidays when Amazon suspended his product listing. Now he...

How Long Does It Take To Make Real Profits Or Good Money With An Online Business?

I receive many questions via email every single day but my #1 most asked question is… How long do you think it will take for me to make money with my business? Here’s another common permutation of this same question… I need to be able to make money in 6 months, can it be done? And finally my favorite… Can I expect to make 100K in the first year with my online store like you did? One year ought to be enough runway right? So here’s the truth. Brand new entrepreneurs are horrible at predicting how far they can get with their businesses in...

How To Find What Makes You Happy And My Reflections On Life After Quitting My Job

It’s been a solid 4 months since I resigned from my day job so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my experiences with unemployment. Here’s the thing. Most people have this rosy vision of quitting their job and being their own boss but personally, my transition has not been entirely smooth. And for those of you who think financial freedom is the answer to all of your problems, you may want to think again:) In fact, at one point I considered taking on another day job at a startup because I felt a void in my...

Read This If You Are Hustling Hard But Not Seeing Results With Your Business

There’s a saying that entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40. And if you’re spending 80 hours per week on your business, then power to you. But what if you’re putting in the time but not seeing the results? Here’s an email that I received from a reader the other day… Hey Steve. Everyday I wake up, eat breakfast, work the entire day on my online business, eat dinner, work some more and then go to bed. I’ve been doing this for almost a year but I don’t feel like I’m getting...

Behind The Scenes Of My First Ecommerce Conference – The Sellers Summit

Most of you probably don’t know this, but I’ve always dreamed of giving a keynote speech at a conference. In fact, it’s been on my bucket list for quite some time. But here’s the thing. While I’ve been asked to give speeches at conferences before, no one has ever approached me to give a keynote ever. Not a single person! And a Chinese guy can only handle so much neglect!!! Anyway I got tired of waiting around for someone to ask so I decided to launch my very own conference instead:) Bucket list item crossed off!!! The...

Overcoming Self Doubt And What It Takes To Make 6 Figures In Ecommerce

Looking back, one of the biggest challenges of starting our ecommerce store was the lack of support. For example in 2007… We had no one to talk to. We had no one to share our experiences with. We had no one to compare strategies with. And to make things worse, most people doubted that we would ever be able to replace my wife’s 6 figure income selling handkerchiefs online. Here’s the funny thing about friendship and support. If most of your friends work full time day jobs, then most of them will be skeptical of your chances for success. And there...

Why I Finally Quit My Job And 8 Life Lessons I Learned In The Process

For the past 5 years, I’ve been asked the following question over and over again… Steve, why do you still have a day job? Why do you work when your businesses generate so much money? Well several weeks ago, I finally gave notice at my job. Soon, I will no longer be an engineering director of microprocessor design. Soon, I will be giving up a skill that I’ve studied for as long as I can remember. After working at the same company for 17 years, all of a sudden I’m going to have an extra 32-40 hours free...

A Peek Into The Glamorous Life Of A Small Business Owner

Everyone knows that starting and running a small business is glamorous. In the past few weeks alone, I’ve read at least a half a dozen stories ranging from “How I made $1027.53 in a single day!” to “How you can work 4 hours a day and be rich with a small business!”. Clearly, these guys are living the good life. What’s funny is that these business owners never mention how glamorous their lifestyle really is. They don’t mention the power, the freedom and the luxury that comes along with owning a small business. On second...

Your Business Failed…But Did You Really Try? Or Did You Just Give Up?

“Oh yeah, I tried being an entrepreneur a few years back but it was just too hard.” “I tried the whole blogging thing but couldn’t get it off the ground” “I tried selling online but every product I could think of had too much competition” I don’t know why, but lately I’ve become increasingly sensitive to people complaining about how things are just too difficult. Whenever I hear statements like the ones above, I can’t help but think to myself… How hard did you really try? How much time and effort did you actually spend? Did you just give up after encountering the first...

Income Report: How Our Ecommerce Store Performed In 2015 And How We Continue To Grow

My wife just closed the books on 2015 for our online store and I’m happy to report another double digit growth year. Can you believe that our little store has grown in the double or triple digits for 8 consecutive years now? I can’t! After all, the products that we sell are very niche and our overall market isn’t very large. But the good news is that the ecommerce landscape is constantly changing and there’s always some new marketing strategy for me to try. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I treat Bumblebee Linens like my own...

How To Figure Out What You Should Do For A Living If You Hate Your Job

When I was a kid, I always tried new things just for the heck of it. I never thought about it too hard. I simply went with the flow and followed my interests wherever they took me. For example… I spent one summer reading the encyclopedia all day because I was curious about all of the cool facts hidden in these massive tomes. I spent hundreds of hours creating the ultimate Legend Of Zelda strategy guide on a typewriter. I played Street Fighter II for 8 hours a day so I could beat all of my friends. I spent hours learning how to...

Improving Your Habits And How One Simple Change Can Lead To Business Success

If you’ve been a reader of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com since the early days, you probably remember that I used to refer to myself as a lazy piece of c$%^. Now depending on the person, laziness can have different definitions. To some people, being lazy is sitting around and watching television all day. To some people, being lazy is staying in bed and not getting up until the afternoon. To some people, being lazy is wanting to make a change and not doing anything about it. But to me, laziness is participating in activities that have absolutely zero...

3 Examples Of Short Term Thinking That Will Ruin Your Ecommerce Business

“How long would it take me to become great under you?” he asks. “10 years,” the master swordsman replies. “I don’t have that long,” says the student. “I want to be good soon. What if I worked very hard and dedicated myself completely to the task?” “Ok, 30 years,” he says back. “But that’s even longer,” the student says with some perplexity. “I am telling you I am in a hurry.” And so the master replies, “Precisely, students in a hurry end up taking even longer to learn what is right in front of them.” After teaching my Create A Profitable Online Store Course for several...

Your Ecommerce Business Is Dead Unless You Apply This Long Term Strategy

Recently, I attended 2 back to back online selling conferences and spoke with hundreds of ecommerce entrepreneurs about their main strategies for growth in the coming year. And the one key takeaway from all of my conversations was this… If you aren’t adding value to your ecommerce business, then you probably aren’t going to be around in the next few years. I’ve alluded to this already in my post on The Dangers Of Selling On Amazon And Horror Stories From Real Amazon Sellers and here’s what I’m seeing. Right now Amazon is getting flooded with a bunch of me too products. People are...