How I started my journey as an Entrepreneur

All my life I’ve been obsessed with money, I say all my life even though I turn 22 in about a month, but I can say it dates back awhile. I think it had to do with how I was raised, I had two very hard-working parents and just watching and being involved in a lifestyle that revolved around that molded me from an early age. Enough with the backstory let’s get to it.

When I was about 13 years old I’d say I was getting into airsoft (yea those plastic bb shooting guns), all my friends had them, we’d have wars in each other’s backyards and all of that. As I got older I got more and more involved in it and being mechanical inclined (hence studying engineering) I started upgrading and taking apart my airsoft guns. My friends took notice and wanted their guns upgraded as well at the beginning it was very light modification (barrel swaps, hop-up unit modifications, external components), but then I bought a couple junker airsoft guns. And started learning how to disassemble the gearbox and internals, looking at the springs, piston, cylinder, the gearset, motors, bearings etc. I began to realize that there was a demand for modified airsoft guns and I could probably buy more junker guns and flip them if I could repair them/ upgrade them.

When I was 16 years old I got my airsoft buddies together and decided to open up a “business” our plan was to flip airsoft guns, and modifying some and reselling. That lasted for about a summer until we outgrew the airsoft phase. Our time was spent at jobs and at high school instead of my basement working on the guns and going out on craigslist and finding deals and broken guns for sale. The entrepreneur experience outweighed the profits I think between the 3 of us that helped in my “business” was about $150 or so. I must also add that some of that profit was in material goods that we acquired through trading things rather than just cash deals. Any how that is were my entrepreneurship started, in a dark dingy basement, taking apart airsoft guns. The screenshot below was taken in 2011 when I was 16 years old.

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I later expanded on this idea of flipping and reselling things. Like I said I loved money and wanted to find ways to make it besides my summer job. I also was interested in trading things, I found out in my days of buying and selling airsoft guns on craigslist most people didn’t have cash on hand like I thought they did. I’d get calls and texts asking if they could trade for my airsoft guns and airsoft equipment. I realized the potential profit that could be made by leveraging trades since they weren’t cash and then finding a cash buyer or another trade to make afterwards. I started trading things if I could, I believe over the course of a summer I turned a Go Pro Hero 2 which I valued at about $225 to a hunting crossbow worth about $350 to a trade lot of about $450 worth of stuff. I was fascinated with this and started going to Goodwill to find cheap things to trade or sell on craigslist and eBay. I had my ups and downs with some of that but overall, I learned a lot from this side business I was running. I’d even find deals on amazon and other online retailers and sell still in box items for profit! The picture below depicts some of the trade deals and goodwill flips and trades.

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I continued to do this until the end of my senior year of high school. Shortly after that the social aspect of my life picked up and my time was more focused on my summer job and hanging out with friends. In college I never really pursued the same craigslist flipping/trading as much as I use to, I still took advantage of some of the opportunities I saw but again my social life and involvement in different organizations here on campus took up most of my time. My summers also became busier, and focused more on my career with internships and co-ops. In fact, I didn’t really sell anything on craigslist or on the side in the last 2 years apart from this past Thanksgiving and winter break where I dug out some of my old trades, and little knick knacks that have been collecting dust for years and made about $100 in trades this past break.

This brings us to now, and what kind of business/entrepreneurial things I am doing today. Unfortunately, not much now, I sell my used textbooks back, sold some of my old trades this past winter break, made some side money through apps and rebates etc. I am looking to get back into it though, you could say this blog and my affiliate sales/ promotional and referral stuff is sort of a side business. If/when I deep dive into another business venture or some sort of side hustle I will let you all know.

In the mean time let me know how your 2018 is going!

Side Money Challenge update 1

I completed the December – January 15th challenge of $600. Now to be completely honest here I knew this one was going to be easy. I knew in advance I had a check coming in from John Deere to reimburse me for travel expenses. Now if you’ve ever been reimbursed for travel expenses we all know that $.55/mile is more than enough to cover both gas and wear and tear. So naturally I profited about $300 from that trip, but left without an internship. Anyway, that only left $300 more to go which was handled through resale, dividends, interest, credit card rewards and short-term stock sales for the most part. The final push that got me to the finish line was actually a $100 cashback reward on my Visa card for spending “x” dollars in 90 days.

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This allows me to get a head start on the next objective which is $1,000 by the end of February. This one will be the real challenge considering I will be back in school which will take up most my time and I don’t have a couple hundred dollars coming in already. I will update you all on how this next objective goes.

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I link articles through there and update on investments and financials more frequently than the blog.

Side Money Challenge

I came up with this idea not too long ago. As a college student with no job, I have little to zero income 9 months out of the year. The little income I do produce (dividends, stock gains, interest, odd jobs etc.) goes right out the door. As a way to decrease the necessity to pull money out of my investments to support my living while at school I started to do a little challenge. I started recording and tracking my “side income”, by side income I mean anything I make besides my internship or co-op income. Some would also call this your “side hustle” your secondary income in addition to your normal job. In 2018 one of my primary focuses will be expanding my income streams, particularly passive income streams. This is just the first step in exploring that avenue further. As you can see in the table below, I am 1 for 2 on the challenge, Thanksgiving break did not go as planned and I failed to capitalize on some of my resale opportunities. As of writing this (12/4/17) December isn’t off to a bad start, again opportunities for resale and side jobs when I return home for winter break.

Let me know what you think, or if you have your own side hustle or gig.

 

October 2017 Goal $80/month mark 10/1/2017 totals: 10/31/17
date profit source baseline %
10/31 $17.86 dividends Dividends $17.86 14.59%
10/31 $40.66 LC interest interest $40.66 33.21%
10/6 $0.75 bpmx stock stocks $5.49 4.48%
10/7 $50.00 move furniture odd jobs $50.00 40.84%
10/10 $5.43 credit card rewards credit cards $5.43 4.43%
10/10 $4.05 bpmx stock online side money $3.00 2.45%
10/18 $0.69 bpmx stock
10/31 $3.00 swagbucks amazon gc
$122.44
current date
November Goal: $300 month 11/1/2017 12/1/17 11/30/17
Date: Profit Source
11/30 $23.12 dividends Dividends $23.12 17.84%
11/30 $41.20 LC interest interest $41.20 31.80%
11/6 $11.42 credit card rewards stocks $6.33 4.89%
11/7 $4.83 chk/bpmx stock odd jobs $0.00 0.00%
11/10 $24.50 ibotta credit cards $11.42 8.81%
11/25 $20.00 zippos online side money $27.50 21.22%
11/28 $3.00 amazon gc sb resale $20.00 15.44%
11/30 $1.50 bpmx stock
Thanksgiving break was a hard flop, strong dividend count, online money was strong
$129.57 43.19% 100.00%
current date
Winter break goal: $600 12/1/17 12/4/17 1/15/18
Date: Profit Source
12/31/17 $14.11 dividends Dividends $14.11
1/15/17 dividends stocks $3.12
12/31/17 LC interest odd jobs
$2.80 credit card rewards credit cards $2.80
12/4/17 $3.12 ATRS stock online side money $4.00
12/4/17 $4.00 WSJ / acorn resale
LC interest
$24.03 4.01% 6.67%