The Year of Do: An Exercise in Getting Comfortable with Failure

This is the year of “do.” It is not the year for planning. It is not the year for researching. It is not the year for wincing at taking risks. This is the year to step out of my comfort zone. It is time to take action.

Natural planners, researchers and implementers are cringing right now. We thrive on researching an idea. We get a boost of confidence in having the perfect plan and a best guess for the outcome. The preparation is the joy and the research is the death of an idea. We will find every possible struggle with an idea and we will try to confront them before there is any reward to dull the sting. We overwhelm ourselves into paralysis and then live a life of should-a, could-a, would-a.

Not me. Not this year. I am leaping without looking. I am taking the consequences and hoping for the best. There is only one rule: Take an action before doing a drop of research.

Which brings me to my first “do” for the year – Amazon selling.

It is a simple concept. Buy inventory, ship it to Amazon and let them do all the work. Easy. Like airport signs, it is built for the lowest common denominator. Anyone can navigate Amazon selling. Not everyone will be good at it, but even I can hobble along the market place with some success. There is no reason that I cannot supplement my income with Amazon selling.

Step 1) Buy Inventory
I did not research Amazon. I simply leaned on my own interests and some intuition about the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. I purchased a quantity of beautiful natural stone amethyst pendants set in this year’s trendy gold style. (Experienced Amazon sellers already know where this is going.)

Step 2) Get a barcode
Still no research. I knew from a friend that Amazon requires barcodes for all items. An easy internet search and ten minutes later I have leased my first unique barcode. This is so easy. Seriously, a monkey can do this.

Step 3) Create a seller account on Amazon
This was also very easy. I already have a registered business from one of my previous “planned to paralysis” attempts at success. Finally a good use for some of that past research. Did I mention, a monkey could do this?

Step 4) Create the listing on Amazon
Again, this is easy. I have the manufacturer’s description, pictures and a unique barcode. I already know a good price based on my own shopping habits.
Wait, why did I get this error message on the brand and seller?

Step 5) Maybe just a little, teeny-tiny bit of research is warranted
Oh…uh oh.
Did you know that not just anyone can sell jewelry on Amazon? Unlike practically every other product on Amazon, jewelry sellers must have a vetted brand and at least a year’s experience selling on Amazon. Hmmmm…interesting tidbit of information to find after purchasing 50 gemstone necklaces!

Step 6) Have a drink
Laugh at the situation. Begin brainstorming other ways to peddle these necklaces. Not too much brainstorming though!

Carrie Stephenson
Carrie Stephenson is an indirect tax specialist and audit firm manager. She combines her experience in the field of auditing with her interest in personal growth in order to serve as an “audit mom” for her team. Carrie is passionate about bringing fresh perspective and creativity to problem solving both at home and in the office.

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