I received an email asking me about me decision to take the plunge and try and make the websites my full time job instead of concentrating on auctions for my income since they seem to be making more money. There’s no doubt about it. If I put as much time into auctions as I am to the sites right now, I would be making a nice income right now. In fact, that is how I supported us the last 2 years which gave me the time to get the sites started in the first place. There are several factors in why I made the decision to take a much lower paying job with longer hours that I’m still not sure will succeed:
1) No Time Off: While auctions were making money for me, they are a “no vacation” type of job. That is, it’s extremely difficult to leave for a week or two without losing a month’s worth of income. This is because you must stop placing them up the week before you leave and then it takes another week before they end once you return home. Unlike a full time position, if you aren’t selling, there is no income coming in. The websites solve this problem in that once a stream of income has been established, it will continue to come in even when I’m not on the computer .
2) Can’t Travel: Because I travel quite a bit between the US and Japan, I would like a job that travels well. Auctions don’t since it’s difficult to take all the merchandise with you. This also means that I have to give up a lot of travel plans – something that I immensely enjoy. The websites solve this because I can work on them anywhere in the world as long as I have an Internet connection.
3) Potential Worth: The worth of the auction business will never be more than the stock of items I have to sell. Maybe a little more with the mailing lists I have, but not much. I am not creating value in the future if I wanted to sell. The websites potentially have a large value depending how big they grow. This is one of the reasons that Nate agreed to let me take all profits from the sites for the next 6 months. While he’ll be losing some money in the short run, he agrees that the value I add to the sites working on them full time will more than make up for that down the road.
4) If I Fail, There Are Still Positives: If I am not able to succeed over the next six months, there are still positives from it. The sites will be bigger and more active and therefore worth more. I can always go back to selling on auctions (in fact, I spend about 20% of my current time doing that to make up for money needs that the sites don’t produce enough to cover). More importantly, I won’t have to sit and wonder if I “should have” since I am trying.
5) It’s What I Like: While I don’t mind doing the auctions, it isn’t something that I “love” to do. I can honestly say that I love working on the sites (even on the days when they frustrate the hell out of me) and helping people learn new ways to save money and improve their personal finances. Doing something that you’re passionate about is just so much more enjoyable than doing something that you merely like to do.
Those are the reasons in a nutshell. I simply plan to work my butt off the next 6 months and see where I am and what the sites are producing at that point. Hopefully it will be an income where I can continue to do this full time (I will always spend time doing it even if I have another “real” job).