I was asked on my Ask.fm account to make a short blog post about how I started Response Commodities so I decided to follow through and make a post about it. Pardon my rambling here, I just whipped this up quick and didn’t go through the editing process much.
I’m not going to go into too much detail because a lot of it is trade secret, but I’ll go through the common sense stuff. I was interested in trade for a long time before starting the business and I first began networking with other people in the industry. I did research and first thing I found where niches that had high profit margins and new trendy items. I picked tobacco products, electronics, and clothing – all high profit niches.
The next thing I did was look on Alibaba for people selling products in those niches. I found sellers, contacted every single one, then negotiated test buys. Most people selling things, I’ve found, are scammers. I negotiated smaller buys upfront, purchased from multiple people, got their skype screen names, and waited for the orders to come in. Some purchases came in, some didn’t – I had to cut my losses.
When the small ones came in I tested selling retail to gauge interest. I also looked at the quality of items I was buying to see if it would be suitable to sell without having to deal with complaints. After selling the items retail and building relationships with the merchants that delivered high quality product fast, I slowly increased my order size until I reached a point where I was ordering in bulk.
Obviously, the larger the order the lower the price per unit. To experiment, I opened up an operation that cold called businesses in my related niches to open up a line of communication where I could begin negotiating rates for bulk orders. In many cases, I ended up being able to drastically undercut their prices off the bat. To propel sales, I fronted inventory to retail operations so they could sell and pay once items where sold.
I slowly began getting into bigger ticket items like electronics, which ended up being bigger margins for me. The biggest challenge with the business now is ordering the correct amount of product, keeping up with the latest technology, and maintaining cashflow while I front product to retail outlets.
Now, I’m still at the very early stages of the business and other things have caught my interest more – but the company has potential and is earning money. Obviously I’m not in Wal-Mart or anything like that yet – but if I put my full focus on it I could grow is dramatically. The biggest challenges I’ve faced with the business is the cashflow required to scale it, and the risk I take when I over order product inventory and it doesn’t sell. For example, I didn’t predict trends correctly in my electronics division and over ordered hundreds of a certain product, only to have the next version released. Now, I’m sitting on inventory of a product that it far more difficult to sell because it’s old technology and I’m going to have to take a loss selling it – plus it’s very difficult to find someone to buy it.
After hearing the life-changing news I went through a gambit of emotions, it was honestly one of the most shocking events in my life. The funny thing is that I had a friend staying overnight with me and in the morning my girlfriend got sick. My buddy joked with me and bet me $10 that she was pregnant. Being a gambler and fully believing it was impossible, I took him up on the bet. Let’s say it didn’t work out too well for me.
I admitted my failure, step one.
— Ryan Eagle (@EagleWebAssets) June 15, 2014
I finally admitted not only to myself, but another individual of my failures recently. It’s been a humbling and painful day but it’s the first step towards progress. I had to swallow my pride and realize what I was doing was wrong and not acceptable behavior. I had to catch the problem before it became a real problem – a problem out of control. I never want to go back to my past I’m questioning myself in how I let it get to this. How did it happen? What did I do wrong? How can I fix it ongoing? How did I make it through all the pain only to fold now? For now it’s back to basics – prayer, taking life one day at a time, being honest, not trying to handle it on my own, and seeking help.
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I decided that I was going to start using my Ryan Eagle Google+ account tonight (on a very limited basis). I’ve been trying to figure out which social network could be used for what (ie: tumblr for my ramblings) and I’ve yet to figure it out – but I think it’s the next front runner. Regardless, I really like Google+’s integration offsite including post embedding and other things. I can’t ignore the profile, it surprisingly gets a fair amount of traffic and I’ve left it neglected for ages. I might as well update it from time to time.
Updated my goals for the first time in two years, it's a work in progress but a nice start : http://t.co/qL3trPJan6
— Ryan Eagle (@EagleWebAssets) June 11, 2014
After about two years I finally got around to updating my goals section. I decided that I’m going to use my tumblr to ramble about each goal, then come up with conscience blog posts about what each goal means to me. The biggest change since last updating it is how few “material” goals there are on here – quite the change from even two years ago.
Regardless, it’s been nice to blog lately on my tumblr and here over the past couple months because it’s really allowed me to reflect on myself – something I have not done for a long time. I want to be able to look back, just like I did when I setup this blog, and see what I did to get where I’m at.
Last night I created the new Ask Me Anything (AMA) section located at ask.ryaneagle.com. Last week for a test development job I had the Main Page Feed setup. The second part of the test (for another developer) is to create the shortcodes and have the plugin automatically generate posts based on the questions and answers. Part of the code is already complete (post generation) so I was able to get a head start with the AMA section. Once I have some free time, I plan to categorize the questions into categories for me (and others?) to reference back to easily (business, personal growth, haters, funny, challenging, and favorites).
It may seem stupid to you – but these questions have been really insightful for me. I’m getting asked questions that I would have never thought to ask myself – even the hurtful ones make me question things. Plus – my hobby is relearning HTML, WordPress and CSS so this is a lot of fun for me to see develop from an idea to an actual program.
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Like usual, I got carried away learning how to utilize tabs and the unique permissions that Facebook has to offer (like incentivizing people to “like” pages). I am a hustler at utilizing social media for free viral marketing but when it came to actually leveraging fan pages to their full ability (custom tabs and code) – I failed completely.
Things have thankfully changed since I started using Facebook to market businesses and it’s gotten a lot easier. Back during the BLAM Ads days I had to pay a couple programmers to develop a custom registration that utilized FBML. Now, they allow you to use simple HTML markup (with HTTPS) and it’s a wise move for them. I consider myself pretty technically smart – but FBML was beyond my scope of even caring.
Now they offer simple applications that allow you to customize permissions, who gets to see what, and a whole bunch of other features that used to take programmers to create. As I’ve said in my past, I use RyanEagle.com as the “testing ground” for all my development because I risk nothing if it gets screwed up. Yesterday I experimented with creating custom tabs that showed hidden easter eggs (to fans) while blocking / forcing people to become fans to gain access to it. It was especially fun considering the only people that have time in their day to scour through my site for hidden links are haters, so now I made them like my fan page to get what they wanted. I have a weird sense of humor, what can I say? Here is an example
Custom Facebook Page Tabs:
- Site Easter Eggs
With a forced fan-gate, took a couple minutes to setup.
- Twitter Feed
I used a third party application that read my feed, displaying it beautifully within Facebook. I remember trying to do this before and it took me hours – now, just minutes.
- RyanEagle.com Tab
My main goal is getting people off of Facebook and onto my homepage and blog – I really don’t like “sharing content” with anyone else, especially Facebook. This tab simply redirects people to my homepage.
Regardless, all the playing around I did yesterday gave me a bunch of killer ideas to utilize in business and even though I delayed some important priorities while I had fun with my hobbies – they paid off. I’m going to create a special CSS formatted social feed (like my homepage) for my Facebook Page allowing me to delete all the other tabs as it will be completely syndicated. It seems stupid to play around with this stuff (and it is) but it sparked a couple ideas that I have not even thought about before. On the other hand, I could be trying to convince myself that I didn’t waste time when realistically I did – who knows, I’m a good bullshitter.
As part of my employee hiring process for Sidago Outsourcing, I build up trust with new members by slowly reviewing work quality, affordability and reliability. I assign new employees “low risk” tasks that can be used to learn without costing me a client or important deadline. I use RyanEagle.com as the task testing ground because it doesn’t matter if something breaks and I get all these random features I’ve always wanted but never had time.
One of those test-tasks was to locate, remake and host all of my published affiliate guides in my archives section. The guides are original, unedited and in some cases not relevant in today’s game – but there are some solid gems. First Read Legal Disclosure:
- Plenty of Fish Guide
- Advanced PPV Target Building & Niche Selection
- Promoting Game Offers
- International Dating Reference Guide
- Plenty of Fish Dating Targeting Guide
- Promoting Dating Offers on PPV
- Common Plenty of Fish Advertising Questions
- Promoting Credit Reports on PPV
- Promoting Ringtones on PPV
- Increase Image CTRs with Social Traffic
- Keeping Facebook Campaigns Profitable Longer
- Finding the Right Demographic for Social Traffic
- Scaling PPV Campaigns
- When to Stop a Losing PPV Campaign
- The Importance of Testing with PPV
- Obtaining Triple-Digit ROIs with Dating
- Facebook App Install Dating Guide
- Promoting Grant Offers Guide
- Promoting Credit Reports via Media Buys
- Optimizing Landing Pages
- The Affiliate Mentality Guide
- Promoting International Dating on Facebook
- … see all guides
I’ve decided to use my Ryan Eagle Tumblr and challenge myself to post whatever is on my mind, when it’s on my mind, completely unedited and honest. I’m using it as a platform to gather thoughts to create organized blog posts here. [close summary]
Publicly talking about my struggles, goals and businesses has always been a major personal motivator in keeping me accountable to both myself and the public. Since launching this blog I’ve had so many ideas for topics that I would like to discuss ranging from posts about hobbies, to advice on managing development tasks, to short product reviews, to personal posts about my inner struggles and challenges. Lately, I’ve been dealing with some extremely challenging and important changes in my life that deserve a mention but I can’t get the motivation to start the post. I’m hitting a roadblock every time I want to write…
The Perfectionist inside me…
Because of my self-moderation, review, obsession with formatting and endless revising it’s nearly impossible to get any ideas out. I overthink every written word that leaves my mouth from my seemingly meaningless Twitter posts to the articles that end up on here. I even created a short posts category and the most simple posts probably end up with 30+ revisions! Besides making things take far longer than they should, the honesty behind the message gets lost through editing alone.
This blog is my personal space, it’s not my business profile or resume. It’s something I want to be able to look back on and reflect. If I’m unable to get my ideas out whatever they may be, it’s limiting my growth as an individual. If I can’t post, I can’t look back to see the mind-state I was in. Looking at my past is one of the most vital tools I use for self-improvement both as a person and as a businessman.
I’ve come up with a solution…
I’ve decided to use my Ryan Eagle Tumblr and challenge myself to post whatever is on my mind, when it’s on my mind, completely unedited and honest. I want the truth even if makes no sense or is embarrassing – not carefully constructed sentences. I don’t want drafts, edits or revisions. I want to see what really goes on in my head. I started making my first rambling posts a couple days ago.
The goal is to be able to review what I’ve written, edit it, and compose structurally organized blog posts. It’s my goal to review a dozen rambles that I barely understand and try to produce one meaningful post I can publish and reflect on later. The goal is to jot down anything on my mind, get it out, and laugh about how stupid it was or how much I was over-analyzing myself. I understand how a lot of people work but there is one person that baffles me still : myself. I feel sorry for the haters that try to interpret my actions because they’re going to end up more confused than me. (more…)