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eCommerce Automation – Free Your Time, Free Your Mind!

On eCommerce Money for Nothing I talk a lot about freeing your time so you can focus on the bigger picture of your business analyzing reports, finding pockets of opportunities to exploit and making adjustments towards bigger profits. The truth is, freeing your time is only part of the equation. You must also free your mind in order to make this leap from moving money into making money. That’s because the majority of the money making tasks are mental. They require your focused and undivided attention.

The truth is, freeing your time is only part of the equation. You must also free your mind in order to make this leap from moving money into making money.

I purchased this $3 clicker counter device to help me count laps as I swim in my pool and as I was swimming I realized what just happened. This was a perfect example of what I tell my eCommerce coaching clients and what I tell eCommerce sellers when I’m on stage and so I thought this was a perfect blog topic to get my point across.

If you exercise on a regular basis, you already know first hand how exercise can be a great way to free your mind to think about big picture ideas. I know when I’m jogging down the path or swimming laps in my pool my mind goes into hyper-drive mode when it comes to thinking about big ideas. The interesting thing to me is how many great ideas I get while in exercise mode. Sometimes I’m challenged with something I can’t seem to figure out a solution for and rack my brain for hours or days without any breakthrough and then while I’m in exercise mode BAM the idea pops into my head that’s perfect for the solution. Has this ever happened to you?

So why might this $3 clicker be worth millions? I know the title for this blog post might be a stretch, but I hope it got your attention. How much is a good idea worth for you? How much is it worth to solve a problem that you can’t seem to overcome as of yet? Entrepreneurs have million dollar ideas everyday, some even have billion dollar ideas. Even if an idea is worth only $100, is $3 a good investment?

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Weather permitting, I like to jump in my pool mid morning and swim laps. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to put health before wealth watching myself and so many of my eCommerce friends work long days, weekends and burning the midnight oil in front of a keyboard and screen in pursuit of our eCommerce dreams trying to free ourselves from the corporate rat race. Just to find ourselves in another trap that we built for ourselves. Much of the time finding ourselves sacrificing our health in the pursuit of wealth. This is a major topic worthy of an entire discussion for another day but I wanted to tell you why I believe some form of exercise is a good thing for us eCommerce sellers.

While swimming laps in my pool I get many great ideas about my business. Sometimes they’re so great I need to jump out of the pool and type them up on my phone real quick before I can jump back into the pool and continue swimming. It amazes me how easy the ideas flow and how great some of them are after thinking about them again later on.

The challenge for me was my ability to focus on brainstorming and troubleshooting while at the same time I was trying to count the laps I was swimming. I would be in the middle of my routine and my mind would wander onto a new idea and I’d get excited as the idea expended into bigger and bigger things.  I’d cross-check the idea in my head as devils advocate to see how the other side of the idea looked and so forth. Eventually I’d get to the end of the pool and then wonder to myself, is this lap 16 or lap 17? Oh great, now I can’t remember what lap I was on and spend the rest of my routine trying harder at remember the lap count instead of brainstorming great ideas in detail.  Sometimes, I would even forget the idea by the time I got out of the pool later on.

Sure I could forget all together about lap counting. I could just say it’s not important because it really isn’t.  Doing the exercise in general is more important than the number of laps exactly.  But I like to make sure I swim at least a specific number of laps each day as part of my exercise goals and so it’s semi-important from a goal setting and health perspective.

This scenario of swimming laps each morning, thinking about ideas, counting laps and sometimes forgetting the count went on for month after month. Then finally one day while I was in the pool swimming laps it came to me, BAM! Why not get one of those touch pads you see in swimming pools on the Olympics where swimmers touch it to keep track of their lap count and time. I jumped online to research lap counters and found a couple. The $80 price tag caused me to pause and think about another lesson. Was this counter tool worth $80 to me? Sure it was! If I can generate one cost saving or profit generating idea, $80 is a very small investment with a tremendous ROI. However, I also started to think that this lap counter is exactly what I need, but this device designed specifically for the task was slightly overkill for my specific need. All I really need is something to keep track of the lap count as I go back and forth in the pool.  Can I solve this problem in a more efficient way?

This relates to yet another topic for another day and that’s overbuilding for the task. I watch so many eCommerce entrepreneurs over-build for the task they’re trying to automate. It’s like using a sledge-hammer to kill a fly. Sure it might work but will it do more damage than harm in the end? Possibly. Harm in the sense of taking more money to build than the return on investment, more of your time to think it through and build it out. More of your time to manage and maintain after it’s all setup. Again, this is a topic for another day but the lap counter was overkill in my opinion and I wanted to follow the principle of tackling this problem with a wiser solution.

I remember as a kid having one of those hand-held counting devices that have 4 levers for each of the different number positions. That’s the device I need! Perfect, I can click it every time I swim a lap and I will once and for all free my mind to a new level where ideas will flow and I can focus on them without interruption. I drove to some local retail stores and searched high and low for this handheld counting device with no success. I was getting frustrated at this point thinking how such a simple device would be the perfect solution for my need and now I can’t find it. Finally I searched for the right keywords and found the latest generation of this same handheld counting device on Amazon and for only a $3 cost.

Finally, I had the solution in sight, ordered and on its way. It was difficult for me to wait the 2 day’s shipping for this to arrive. But it arrived, I mounted it to the handle at the end of the pool and now I’m getting into the habit of reaching up and clicking it at the end of each lap. I’ve only had the clicker for a few days as I write this blog post but I can tell already it will become the best $3 investment I’ve made in my business for a very long time. The ideas are flowing without distraction once again and more so than ever before. I’m thinking with more clarity and determination than ever.

The ideas are flowing without distraction once again and more so than ever before. I’m thinking with more clarity and determination than ever.

eCommerce Money for Nothing is about freeing your time so you can free your mind and focus on the big picture. It’s about eliminating, automating and outsourcing the money moving tasks so you can invest your time (and your mind) into the money making tasks. Adding a handheld clicker to my swimming routine is a perfect example of me “Automating” the task of counting laps so I can free my mind and invest it into bigger things.

eCommerce Money for Nothing is about freeing your time so you can free your mind and focus on the big picture.

You may not be swimming laps each day. It’s really not about buying yourself a $3 handheld counter and you’ll make millions. It’s about how each day you have distractions that are less important that can steal your time and steal your mind and it’s time you finally eliminate them, automate them or outsource them. Your mind will thank you!

Cheers to selling smarter!

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